The Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach was canceled Sunday because of inclement weather, ending the popular Memorial Day weekend event a day early.
The predicted rain prevented a number of planes from “safely flying” and would have “greatly diminished” crowd sizes, said George Gorman, Long Island deputy regional director for the state Parks Department.
“Obviously it was due to the safety of the performers and spectators,” Gorman said. “With those factors, we had no choice but to cancel.”
Rain fell into the afternoon Sunday and brought a low cloud ceiling with it.
Rain could strip off the paint on the Air Force F-22 Raptor, which would mean more work for the repair crew, as that is one of the stealth components, according to Senior Airman Kaylee Dubois, a Raptor spokeswoman.
The Navy Blue Angels’ F/A-18 fighter jets cannot fly unless there is a minimum ceiling of 1,000 feet with visibility of at least 3 miles, said Wayne Boggs, the show’s air boss, who controls all flights.
Nonetheless, Gorman called this year’s shortened event a “phenomenal success,” saying a combined 275,000 “air show enthusiasts” came to Jones Beach for the rehearsal on Friday and the first day of the event on Saturday.
Sunday’s cancellation was only the second time a show day has been scrapped in the event’s 15-year run, Gorman said. A show was last canceled because of poor weather in 2013.
With Vera Chinese