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Air show draws estimated 40,000 people/Blue Angels coming in 2018

An estimated 40,000 people from several states turned out Friday night, Saturday and Sunday for the sixth annual Owensboro Air Show, Tim Ross, the city’s public events director, said Monday.

That’s up from 25,000 who braved two days of rain during last year’s three-day event.

But it’s still below the record 50,000 set in 2015, when the. U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds performed.

That record could be in danger next year, though, when the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team makes its first Owensboro appearance since 1991.

That performance at the airport drew an estimated 35,000 people for a one-day event.

And next year’s air show — on Sept. 14-16 — will again be on three days.

This year’s show lost several planes in the weeks leading up to last weekend.

In August, veteran pilot Terry Richardson crashed his historic 1917 Curtiss JN-4 single-engine biplane — known as a “Jenny” — near Bowling Green’s CrossWinds Golf Course.

He was slightly injured but the plane sustained major damage and had to pull out of the Owensboro show.

Ross said Gene Soucy, a stunt pilot who flew beneath the Glover H. Cary Bridge in Owensboro in the 1970s, had a mechanical issue Friday night and was unable to fly because he has to replace his entire engine.

And several military aircraft that had been scheduled to perform were called away for hurricane relief action.

But the show still lasted two hours.

Ross said he didn’t have an estimate– other than “thousands and thousands” — of the number of people who walked across the Cary Bridge between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday during the city’s seventh annual Bridge Day.

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