Snowbirds air show cancelled

The buzz and excitement for an upcoming Canadian Forces Snowbirds air show over Lake Erie and the Niagara River has crashed.

The May 24 performance is not taking place and the famous team has also backed out of four other scheduled events in the area.

Also cancelled is an event that was supposed to be attended by 400 elementary school students, as well as a dinner with the local air cadets squadron.

The Snowbirds have provided a statement to the Town of Fort Erie saying the air show team has decided to undertake additional practice and training from its home base at 15 Wing Moose Jaw before returning to the 2017 scheduled air performance season.

“While we have had several well-executed shows and practices early in the season, our team lead has determined that additional training is required,” says the statement.

“A reduced training period hampered by poor weather which continued into the show season, resulted in numerous cancelled practices. As a result, more training is required before the Snowbirds resume the 2017 schedule,” said Maj. Patrick Gobeil, Snowbirds team lead.

“We have cancelled our participation in some upcoming air shows, and intend to return to the air show circuit once we have the consistency required for our dynamic nine-aircraft aerobatic performance,” says the statement released Monday night.

Tom Kuchyt, Fort Erie’s chief administrative officer, says he doesn’t expect the municipality to be on the hook for its half of the $15,000 cost of the show, which was to be split with Fort Erie Economic Development and Tourism Corp.