Stuart Airshow Shortened as Tropical Storm Eta Approaches Florida

STUART, Fla. — The nation’s top aerobatic aircraft and latest fighter jets highlighted a weather shortened air show in southern Florida over the weekend caused by the approach of Tropical Storm Eta.

Guests attending the Stuart Air Show on Saturday watched a dizzying array of civilian aerobatics. The Air Force also performed with four different types of aircraft demonstrating high speed maneuvers and low close-up passes.

The Stuart Air Show was one of the few shows to host the F-22A Raptor, F-35A Lightning II, A-10C Warthog, and the F-16C Viper. The jets also performed the crowd-favorite Air Force Heritage Flight together to honor Airman past and present.

The humidity across Witham Field provided flashes of vapor across each military jet as it reached speeds of 500 m.p.h. The low cloud ceiling also kept many of the aircraft closer to the crowd line.

One special moment saw the joint flight of the GEICO Skytypers and AeroShell Aerobatic Team. Their 11 aircraft performed the symbolic missing man formation in honor of Veteran’s Day on Wednesday.

The resurgence of Eta near the Florida Keys dampened Sunday’s schedule at Stuart. Officials worked closely with the pilots to safely schedule the aircraft in between the system’s outer rain bands.

However, with the Stuart community under a tropical storm warning, and rain falling continuously, two of the military jet teams cancelled their planned demonstrations at 11:00 a.m. The A-10C Warthog took off at 11:30 a.m. to begin an abbreviated demonstration flight.

By noon time, air show officials decided the weather was too much to continue. The A-10 was the only aircraft to fly on Sunday. 

(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)

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