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Snowbirds jet team recommits to air show

In a surprise announcement last week, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds reversed direction and informed Oregon International Air Show officials that the team will in fact perform at this summer’s event. by: COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON INTERNATIONAL AIR SHOW - The Canadian Forces Snowbirds jet demonstration team has recommitted to being the headline performer at the 2014 Oregon International Air Show Sept. 19-21 at the Hillsboro Airport.

The announcement came four weeks after the Snowbirds cancelled all of their 2014 U.S. air show appearances — including their planned performances at Hillsboro’s 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 other 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 at the Canadian Air Division Headquarters, Canadian 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 canceling 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 the Snowbirds will bring their performance to Oregon, and their appearance is one of only four scheduled in 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 based in 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.”

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



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