Indy Air Show grounded for 2013 as sequester looms

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A summertime fixture in Indianapolis will not happen this year.  Organizers of the Indy Air Show canceled this year’s program and they are blaming people nearly 600 miles away.

Sixteen years and not counting in Greenfield.  This year’s show is not happening because of possible federal budget cuts.  There is optimism that the show will be back next year, but many worry it could be grounded for good.

It is a show that is truly one of a kind, complete with fly-byes and barrel-rolls. Some just cannot contain themselves. But the Indy Air Show is more than big metal military birds to Beth Vahle.

“It makes it very emotional,” said Vahle.

Two of Vahle’s children have spent significant time at Riley Hospital for Children.  The money raised by the show every year is given to Riley.

“It brings it home, Vahle.  “It brings it home when you know you have been to Riley and they have touched your lives.”

A series of automatic federal cuts, called the sequester, are set to take effect March 1, if Congress can’t reach a compromise on how to cut the nation’s deficit.  The cuts aim to slice the budget by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

They’ll Indiana’s military hard. About 11,000 Department of Defense employees will be furloughed.  The pay cuts add up to more than $64 million. The sequester would also ground the legendary Blue Angles. Those possible cuts were just too much so the plug was pulled on this year’s show.

“The dollars just did not work out, for us to be a prudent use of funds,” said Bob Duncan, chairman of the show’s executive committee.  “It resulted in the observation in that the financial risk was just too great.”

Organizers hope the cuts only mean a holding pattern. They hope the show will take flight again next year.

“To come back stronger and better with 2014 and really show the community how much we appreciate them, and how much they mean to us by putting on a first-class show,” said organizer Marylen Wallace.

Volunteers said the show will be revamped. They hope to not make it so dependent on military planes like The Blue Angels.  At the same time, organizers do not want to take away from the show’s overall excitement.  Only time will tell whether the Indy Air Show is strong enough to return.

14 comments

    • PHIL

      To you Jim i give up many days a week and hours to help put on the air show as do so so many others and for you to say you as a tax payer cut the crap.
      Well let me say you are full of bull hockey i as many others do it for the kids and you as tax payer DO NOT SUFFER.
      WHY NOT CUT THOSE FAT CATS ON CAPITOL HILL OR ARE YOU ONE OF THEM?

  • Michael

    Maybe they would have the money if they stopped buying billions of hollow-point bullets and $2,000,000 in "No-Hesitation targets" depicting pregnant mothers,little kids,grandma and grandpa for the DHS.

  • Dr D

    My first thought was well BooHoo, but as a Pilot and attend the air show now and then, its a shame. But if this gets the Government and the Idiot in charge from spending and spending and spending, maybe its worth the hassel. Mr Obama can pick and choose how to lessen the impact, and if he chooses wrong and it hurts american on purpose to prove a point,hope he likes Jail and Impeachement.

  • DTSmith

    Blatantly selected by Obama to hurt people and garner just this type of 'news article' by the sycophant media. This is a gate-supported event – paid for by the spectators.

    All hail the Chosen One!

    • El Dood

      How did the bill pass the GOP house of idiots?
      Take a civics class and learn how our government works.
      You're proof that S antorum was right…conservatives will never attract smart people!

  • Ignatz

    Cancellation of this show has nothing to do with Sequestration. Some investigative reporting would uncover financial ills not related to Gov't spending.

  • Catrena

    WOW! what does Indianapolis/ Indiana really offer our families? …..The childrens Museum, which is the same every day, except maybe a new exhibit or two every few months. The zoo? Not for me and my daughter? We have a few museums, and thats all.
    The Air Show was my daughters' and I BEST EVENT ALL YEAR LONG. This is hurtful to be honest, you are taking away our ritual and I am sure many others. This was the best, exciting, activity we have. I guess we have to continue to travel to other states to have our family activities because they dont happen we I was born and raised…. VERY SAD

  • INPrinter

    I am sure the reasons that the Airshow has been cancelled go beyond any government support that is involved. Certainly, if the Blue Angels are a no show due to sequestration of federal funding that has to be considered by those who manage the event. The sequestration amount compared to the total Federal Budget for this year is a mere drop in the bucket. Probably just a cut in the increase from the previous year and not really a cut at all. This is all a bunch of hype, Fox59 is in the business of reporting these types of events and so it goes. Another perfectly orchestrated consequence of politics gone bad. You just have to know that the political group in charge of our Country at this time will manipulate this Sequestration circus to their political advantage. Never let a good crisis go to waste is the cry of those who just can't say no to taking more of your dollars.

  • MeatPlow

    Right with you INPrinter, It's all posturing to make republicans look bad. Don't forget the posturing to scare the crap out of the low-informed regarding release of 500 illegal immigrant prisoners into the public. WTF is our government thinking? they could find tons of budget to slim down, or deport them, but instead DHS and Nopalitano chose to release criminals onto our streets. I am really hating Washington right about now.

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