Sequester Could Keep Blue Angels Out of Air Show

Lynchburg, VA - It's disappointing, but there is a chance the Blue Angels won't be making a stop at the Lynchburg Air Show this year, and Congress could be to blame.

If politicians in D.C. don't get their fiscal house in order, sequestration will kick in March 2. That means devastating budget cuts for our nation's defense department, which includes funding for the Blue Angels.

This uncertainty has organizers of the Lynchburg Regional Air Show preparing for Plan B.

Retired Rear Admiral Jones Stanley says air show organizers are marching on and planning as if the Blue Angels will be in our Air Show.

Many say with want their Angels, or they aren't interested in going.

The Lynchburg Regional Air Show has many performers. There's no denying the Blue Angels draw the people, though. A former marine, John Smith loves watching these fly. If they're not coming, neither is he.

"The Blue Angels is the highlight of the show. And, it's just like anything else, if the main attraction don't come, then the show is a flop," said Smith.

"We are marching on. We are continuing on just like the show is going to happen," said Stanley.

Retired Rear Admiral Jones Stanley is staying positive that Congress will avoid the sequester and the Blue Angels will soar over Lynchburg again this year. Unfortunately, he's also got to have another option on standby.

"This is a possibility and it's something we have to deal with and come up with an alternate plan," said Stanley.

The alternate plan is to focus on the other acts in the show.

Organizers say to remember the Air Show is more than the Blue Angels. There is the chance to see the Tuskegee Airmen, and Trojan Horseman to name just two. Plus, air force bases nearby like Langley and Seymour Johnson have canceled their shows entirely because of sequestration, meaning those fans could be coming to Lynchburg for our show.

"You'd probably see half of the people show up. It probably would hurt it," said Grooms. "That's my guess."

Organizers hope that guess is wrong. March 2 we will know the Blue Angels' fate.

"We'll just have to wait and see what happens," said Stanley.

There is one other performance in jeopardy if the sequester happens and that is the Golden Knights. The parachute team is in the military and subject to the same cuts the Blue Angels could see.

ABC 13 news is a sponsor of the Lynchburg Regional Air Show.