Stuart Air Show will not have any military personnel or equipment because of sequestration cuts
Witham Field event still will go on as planned
6:40 PM, May 9, 2013
7:58 PM, May 9, 2013
STUART, Fla, - Port St. Lucie resident Ron Rowars is an attorney by day. Off the clock, he's up in the air.
"It's an experimental RV-6," he said of his aircraft.
For five years, Rowars has displayed his plan as part of the Stuart Air Show. He found out the show is losing all its military acts this year, but he's not disappointed.
"I love the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds," said Rowars. "But it's great to be able to show what else is out there in the other aviation-related people."
Don McGlynn, the Stuart Air Show Military Coordinator and Vice President of the Board of Directors, said sequestration cuts grounded all air show military participation.
"We had a very short conversation at one of our board meetings about delaying the show," said McGlynn. "Within two minutes, we decided that nope, we're not going to delay the show for a year. "
McGlynn said board members have contingency plans in case sequestration goes on indefinitely.
Less than half of previous air performances were from the military, so they are replacing those acts with high-quality civilian performers.
"We want to really make this an expanded, family-friendly event," McGlynn said. "We want to bring new and interesting things to the table. "
Three other differences this year: the event will be one weekend earlier, they're opening the Friday night air show and fireworks to the public for the first time ever, and pre-sale admission tickets are $5 cheaper than before.
Rowars sees it as an opportunity for other aviation acts to show off.
"Do I hope the military comes back? It would be wonderful, we love them. But it's neat for other people to come out and say let us be involved, we want to participate," said Rowars.