Officials Cancel the 2013 Lynchburg Regional Airshow
Campbell Co., VA - The 2013 Lynchburg Regional Air Show is no more.
Organizers of the event announced Friday that federally mandated funding cuts, known as sequestration, forced the cancellation.
Organizers speculate the crowd this year could have totaled more than 40,000 people.
But with three of the show's biggest acts at the mercy of federal cuts, organizers say they had to pull the plug.
"This morning at 11:45, I regretted having to send the Blue Angels a message that we're cancelling this air show due to sequestration" said Air Show President, Jones Stanley.
The Navy's Blue Angels, the signature performers for May's air show had considered cancelling their appearances because of sequestration.
The Army's Golden Knights already had, while others threatened to pull the plug as well.
"They keep saying we're waiting to see, we're going to wait and see, but we're at a point now where we can't wait that much longer" said Stanley.
The show relies heavily on advertising and sponsorship. And without the flagship performances, the show is over.
Organizers say they wouldn't have been able to recoup the nearly $800,000 it would have cost to put on the air show.
And the longer they'd wait, the more money they'd lose.
At one point during Friday's press conference, Stanley was brought nearly to tears, "We did this successfully in 2012. It was a challenge for us then and we did it in style and fashion and we wanted to do it again" he said.
Stanley, a veteran, wanted the airshow on Memorial Day weekend to pay tribute to our armed forces.
"We could honor these people for their service to their country for what they have done in the past for the military and in aviation and now we don't get to do that, and it's sad" he said.
This was, organizers say, by all means, a last resort.
Plans are in the works for a 2015 air show; pending a turnaround of the country's fiscal situation.