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Snowbirds jet team recommits to air show

Canadian military reverses decision to cancel U.S. appearances


In a surprise announcement, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds last Thursday reversed direction and informed Oregon International Air Show officials that the team will perform at this summer’s event.

The announcement came four weeks after the Snowbirds cancelled all of their 2014 U.S. air show appearances — including their planned performances at the Hillsboro air show — due to Canadian military budget constraints. The show, scheduled for Sept. 19-21 at the Hillsboro Airport, will include military demonstrations, civilian performers, fireworks, unique ground displays, and family-friendly attractions.

In the wake of the Canadian Forces’ January cancellation announcement, air show officials had been in serious discussions regarding the future of the show and whether it would be possible to move forward without the Snowbirds’ participation. Michel “Spike” Tremblay, senior operations coordinator for the Combined Aerospace Operations Centre, 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters/Canadien NORAD Region, sent an email Feb. 27 recommitting to a Snowbirds performance.

“I can’t begin to tell you how relieved and elated I am that we have the Snowbirds back as our headline performers for our 2014 show,” said Judy Willey, president of the Oregon International Air Show. “The truth is, without a jet team to anchor this year’s lineup, we were forced to look at several scenarios including potentially cancelling this year’s show.

“With the Snowbirds back as our headliners, we are excited to announce that the show will go on.”

This is the first time since 1993 that the Snowbirds will bring their performance to Oregon and their appearance is one of only four scheduled the U.S. in 2014. Flying nine distinctive red and white CT-114 Tutors, the Snowbirds serve as the Canadian Forces’ ambassadors and are internationally known for precision aerobatics consisting of more than 50 different formations and maneuvers.

The Snowbirds are one of only three military jet teams from North America.

“Our air show fans have clamored for years to have the Snowbirds return to Oregon, so we are excited to be able to bring the fans what they want,” said Willey. “The Snowbirds are just the beginning of what is going to be a blockbuster lineup of world-class air show entertainment in the sky and on the ground at our 2014 show.”

Ticket packages will be available on the show’s website this month. Sponsorship opportunities and additional information are also available at oregonairshow.com. Additional performers and attractions will be added in the coming months, with the full lineup in place by spring.

All profits from the show will benefit local charities and nonprofit organizations. Since 1988, more than 475 local organizations have received more than $1.3 million in donations from the air show.

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