The New York International Air Show brought a large crowd to Orange County Airport in the Town of Montgomery on Sunday after the event had been canceled on Saturday.
Weather safety concerns brought the event to a halt on Saturday shortly after it began. Show announcer Larry Strain updated the crowd that there were concerns about low cloud ceilings and the chance for a major thunderstorm.
The crowd was also told that with the violent weather expected to sweep through the surrounding region, the Air Force Thunderbirds and other large jets had no safe airport to retreat to in the event of an in-flight emergency.
Unlike Saturday, the show’s second day was sunny and bright. All those who had tickets for Saturday were admitted Sunday.
This year’s event looked different from the year’s past. It was held in a smaller venue instead of New York Stewart International Airport.
In addition, this year’s show was a drive-in event to reflect New York State Health Department COVID-19 regulations. Spectators were allowed to sit outside of their parked cars but could not wander from their parking space except to use the facilities. After leaving their space, spectators were required to wear masks.
COVID-19 might have changed the spectators’ experience on the ground but the air show was its usual self.
Jets performed precision formation flights with their wingtips only a few feet apart. Loops, inverted rolls and high performance turns were abundant on Sunday. Aircrafts also flew low to the ground, whizzing by spectators at speeds of several hundred mph.
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds headlined the event, which featured the F-22 Raptor Demo Team and the F-35 Lightning Demo Team as well. The Geico skytypers and the West Point Parachute Team also made appearances.
Thousands came to the event and were pleased with the show despite the COVID-19 restrictions.
“It’s a great show every year and this year is no exception,” said Lee Feigenbaum.
Denis O’Flynn traveled all the way from the Binghamton area to watch the show for the first time.
“This is fantastic,” he said. “It worked out great.”
The large turnout created a tremendous amount of traffic. New York State Police took the lead concerning vehicular traffic. At the conclusion of the air show on Sunday, all traffic traveling west on State Route 211 from the Village of Montgomery was directed onto Chandler Lane. All traffic traveling east on State Route 211 from Middletown was directed onto East Kaisertown Road. This closure lasted approximately one hour.
Families went home happy after enjoying several hours of entertainment on a beautiful sunny day.
“Thank you to everybody who helped put this together,” said Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus.