Snowbirds cancel RI Air Show performance

The Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds demonstration team flies in formation during the 13th Annual Bethpage Air Show, Saturday, May 28, 2016, at Jones Beach in Wantagh, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Royal Canadian Snowbirds will not perform in the upcoming Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show, Rhode Island National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Janeen Miller announced Monday.

Miller said the cancellation was due to an “internal safety stand down.”

The Snowbirds were slated to headline this year’s event, which will be held May 20 and 21 at Quonset Air National Guard Base.

On its Facebook page, the team explained that poor weather affected their practice season, and despite several well-executed shows and practices, the Team Lead decided more training is required.

“A reduced training period hampered by poor weather which continued into the show season, resulted in numerous cancelled practices. As a result, more training is required before the Snowbirds resume the 2017 schedule,” said Major Patrick Gobeil, Snowbirds Team Lead.

According to the Snowbirds’ performance schedule, performances in Rochester, NY, and Ontario will likely also be canceled, though it’s unclear when the teams plans to return to its show tour.

“We have cancelled our participation in some upcoming air shows, and intend to return to the air show circuit once we have the consistency required for our dynamic nine-aircraft aerobatic performance,” the team wrote on its Facebook page.

In a statement Monday, Miller outlined some of the acts still slated to perform.

The Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show will feature many outstanding performers including the much anticipated newcomer, Randy Ball flying a Soviet Era MiG-17. Adding to the dynamic combined arms display, this year the audience will be awed by the nation’s premier attack helicopter, the AH-64 Apache and the venerable CH-47 Chinook helicopter as it transports a Rhode Island National Guard 155 millimeter howitzer to show center.

We are also excited to welcome back award winning performers Sean D. Tucker, Mike Goulian, Rob Holland, the Geico Skytypers, the Jack Link’s Screamin’ Sasquatch and the Shockwave Jet Truck. Our military demonstrations include the USAF F-16 Viper Demo, the USN F/A-18 Super Hornet, and the USMC AV/8B Harrier.

To cut down on traffic, the state Department of Transportation will be offering free train rides in and out of Quonset from Providence, T.F. Green Airport, and Wickford Junction.

Last year, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds canceled their appearance after one of their jets crashed in Colorado.