The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will soar over Fort Lauderdale Air Show in 2020

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After scratching their headlining performance in 2018, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will soar once more at the Fort Lauderdale Air Show in 2020.

The elite fighter-jet team will headline the fleet of civilian and military aircraft roaring over Fort Lauderdale Beach May 2-3, 2020, Air Show president Bryan Lilley told the Sun Sentinel on Monday.

“They’re a huge crowd favorite, so we’re glad to have them back,” Lilley says. “[The Thunderbirds] bring some of the coolest aerobatics around.”

The Thunderbirds canceled their 2018 date following a pilot’s fatal crash in the Nevada desert one month before their scheduled appearance. Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, a 34-year-old Thunderbird pilot, crash his F-16 in April 2018 during routine training. The Thunderbirds are based out of Nellis Air Force Base, north of Las Vegas.

In response, Air Show brass last year replaced the Thunderbirds with a backup headliner, the U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet TAC Demo team. “We wish [the Thunderbirds] the best as they recover from their loss,” Lilley told the Sun Sentinel last year.

Meanwhile, the 2019 edition of the Fort Lauderdale Air Show will return May 4-5 with headliner the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, a six-jet demonstration team of F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets.

pvalys@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4364



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