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Federal budget sequestration cuts affect Battle Creek airshow

Field of Flight facebook page

The effect of the federal budget sequestration can be seen this week at a popular air show in Battle Creek.

Or more accurately, won’t be seen.

Since the late 1980’s, the Field of Flight Airshow and Balloon festival in Battle Creek has featured high performance military aircraft.  Not this year.

The federal budget sequestration has grounded a lot of the aircraft the U-S military routinely sends to airshows.

“You’re not going to have the F-18s, the F-16s, the Thunderbirds, the Blue Angels…none of the above flying in any shows, that’s all the way across the country,” says Barb Haluszka, the festival’s executive director.

“Who doesn’t want to see the Red, White and Blue jets or the Blue and Gold jets fly? That’s America,” says Haluszka, “I think it’s sad and a shame that we’ll not be able to see those jets this year be able to fly.”

Organizers say they have added events to this year's air show so they are optimistic the lack of military aircraft will not hurt attendance this weekend.

80 to 100 thousand people are expected to attend the airshow and balloon festival this weekend.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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