Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Storm Concerns Ground Snowbirds before Air Show; Royal Canadian Planes Will Be at Weekend Event

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Storm Concerns Ground Snowbirds before Air Show; Royal Canadian Planes Will Be at Weekend Event

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson

BRUNSWICK, GA. | Although it was just entering the Carribean Tuesday, Hurricane Matthew already caused a flight delay in Brunswick.

Nine jets from the Canadian Forces Snowbirds precision flying team were sitting on the ground in Athens well past their 3:30 p.m. arrival time at Brunswick Golden Isles Airport in advance of this weekend's Wings Over the Golden Isles air show. On the way from Kentucky, the jets stopped in Athens to refuel, but then concern over the hurricane's path kept them on the ground there, said Brenda Little, spokeswoman for JLC AirShow Management.

Rather than fly to Brunswick, team leaders decided to remain in Athens and hangar the planes there until Matthew's movements were more certain, she said.

Two of the Snowbirds planes had already landed in Brunswick but were likely flying back to Athens to keep the team together, Hill said.

Regardless of where the team spends the next couple of nights, it will be in Brunswick in time for the air show if it goes on as planned, she said.

Maj. Indira Thackorie was aboard one of the two jets that arrived just after noon.

The Snowbirds fly CT114 Tutor jets, two seat trainers that were built in the 1960s. Although far slower than the current breed of fighters, the jets make for a better show, Thackorie said.

"If you change the jets, you change the shows," she said.

Because they are slower, the jets can fly four-to-six feet apart, she said.

"There's something happening on screen all the time," she said Tuesday as the two jets were being hangared albeit temporarily.

By screen, she meant the sky over the airport where the team would always be in view of the spectators.

Higher performance fighters need a lot of room to get into position for their maneuvers and as a result are sometimes out of view, she said. …

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