The skies over Chicago will be noisy, this weekend. But you won't hear the Thunderbirds as originally scheduled. Congress' deep budget cuts impacted the United States' ace military flying demonstrations.
However, the Chicago Air and Water Show, sponsored by the city and Shell Oil Products U.S. will feature the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, Sean D. Tucker & Team Oracle, the Lima Lima Flight Team and several daredevil exhibitions.
Watch for Dave Dacy in his Super Stearman, Chuck Aaron in his Red Bull Helicopter, the Firebirds Delta Team and aerobatic pilots Matt Chapman and Bill Stein.
Started small in 1959 at Lake Michigan and Chicago Avenue as the Lakeshore Park Air & Water Show, Chicago’s flying and water expertise demonstration turned into an annual blockbuster with the addition of the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds in 1960.
Those two ace flying teams were joined on a rotating basis by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels until this year, 2013, when budget cuts also cut several demonstrations. To see their 2013 canceled programs visit Thunderbird Season.
Tips: The show is another good reason to come to make Chicago a summer destination but take public transportation if possible. The CTA runs downtown from O'Hare Airport and from the Ogilvie Transportation Center and Union Station. For schedules visit Metra and CTA. Friday is practice day so North Beach won't be as crowded as Saturday or Sunday. Some of the show is visible north and south of North Avenue Beach along the lakefront.
Details: The Chicago Air & Water Show is Aug. 17 & 18, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.