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Posts Tagged ‘Air Force Week’

This is a post on the 2010 air show that was cancelled. Current post on the 2015 New York City Air Show in Coney Island is here.

The U.S. Army’s Golden Knights Parachute team will return to Coney Island to perform in the new air show scheduled for August 28-29, 2010, (Cancelled! See Aug 10 Update below) ATZ has learned. We can’t wait to see the inevitable pix of the parachutists with the Parachute Jump in the background! Friends who’ve attended Coney Island air shows of the past (the last one was in 2000) say the jumpers land with unerring precision on targets set out on the beach.

Golden Knights U.S. Army Parachute Team. Photo courtesy of the US Army

The air show will also mark the historic return of the USAF Thunderbirds jet team to Coney Island as ATZ reported earlier this week. The August 28-29 weekend air show will be the culmination of Air Force Week, according to Ted Plana, the Director of Air Operations for the show. The event is the Air Force’s equivalent of Fleet Week and will be a citywide event. “They will be going into the boroughs,” Plana says.

Air Force Weeks were established in 2006 by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and have traveled to different locales including St. Louis, Las Vegas, Sacramento and Los Angeles. The L.A. event featured free events such as spectacular flyovers, aircraft and interactive simulator demos, concerts, a film festival and more. According to the USAF, “The Air Force Week program is part of a proactive initiative to increase communication with the public. Each Air Force week may include community visits and talks by Air Force officials, flight demonstration team performances and displays providing an up close and personal look at the Air Force men and women serving on the front lines.”

Young spectators take a look inside an Air Force Thunderbirds' cockpit at the California Capital Airshow the culminating event of Air Force Week-Sacramento, Sept. 12. Air Force Week-Sacramento is an event using various activities and exhibitions to educate the community about the Air Force's capabilities and missions. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III

Both the Golden Knights and the Thunderbirds released their 2010 schedule on December 8 at the ICAS (International Council of Air Shows) Convention in Las Vegas, setting off a flurry of speculation in Coney Island about the sponsorship of the new event in the People’s Playground.

Plana tells ATZ that the event has been in the planning stages for the past year and a half. “We have been working with the City to get clearances and permits, and then with the Air Force to get the Thunderbirds,” says Plana. Now that the stars of the show are on board, the sponsors are gearing up to officially announce the event.

The last weekend in August was chosen for this family oriented event since people are home and getting ready for school, Plana notes. It’s also a time when attendance drops off in Coney Island. At a recent stakeholders meeting, Coney Island business owners called for more special events in late August to boost attendance. Sounds like they got their wish.

How many people are projected to attend the air show? “A conservative estimate would be 500,000 per day,” says Plana, who notes that more than 2 million people live in Brooklyn and the air show will be visible for blocks beyond the amusement district.

“It will have some of the elements of the Lauderdale show, including stages,” says Plana, who has been Director of Air Operations for the Fort Lauderdale Air and Beach Festival for the past 15 years. The best viewing area as well as the stages are expected to be set up at Stillwell Ave and 10th Street. The air show and the majority of Air Force Week events will be free to the public.

This concludes the week of “Finding out About the Secret Air Show in Coney Island” at ATZ! Drop by next week for the usual news and rumors about what’s going on in Coney Island, ATZ’s first book review and more.

UPDATE August 10, 2010:

We’re sorry to report the Coney Island Air Show could not get all of the necessary permits–a complicated situation by all accounts– and persistent rumors that the air show would be cancelled or “postponed” have turned out to be true. The high cost of police security for the event was also rumored to be a factor. The Thunderbirds and Golden Knights finally removed “Brooklyn, NY” from their schedules. Air Force Week NYC will go on without a Coney Island Air Show. Instead they’re advertising the Aug 25 air show in Atlantic City!

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