Civilian jet team replaces Blue Angels at Alliance Air Show

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by MARCUS MOORE & TODD UNGER

WFAA

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 4 at 5:39 PM

FORT WORTH - The Fort Worth Alliance Air Show will go on as scheduled. 

The announcement came during a Tuesday morning news conference at Alliance Airport. The Black Diamond Jet Team of Lakeland, Florida will headline the October event. The news comes after the Blue Angels canceled plans to perform at the show because of federal budget cuts.

This will be the first time in 15 years a civilian jet team has performed at the show.  

Organizers said the show will also be different from years past with an emphasis on the country's veterans. Bell Helicopter is sponsoring the show that will feature World War II reenactments, including tanks, armored personnel carriers and aerial dogfights.

"I think they've done an excellent job of coming up with something that really should catch the attention and the interest of the DFW area," said Zim Zimmerman, a Fort Worth city councilman and mayor pro tem.

Organizers said Tuesday's announcement came after seven difficult weeks of working to design the show following news that the Blue Angels were out.

The Blue Angels are a military jet team that has long set the staple for high performance jet shows across the country and beyond. 

Even though the Black Diamond team is a civilian operation, with jets stripped in black instead of blue and gold, Fort Worth officials say it is far better than nothing.

"The first reaction is 'well, we have to cancel,'" Zimmerman said. "Credit to the Alliance Air Show team, they didn't like that answer. So, they started going out to find alternatives."

Organizers say the Black Diamond group presented the best alternative. 

"We are ecstatic to have secured the Black Diamond Jet Team for this year's show," said Tom Harris, president of Alliance Air Services. 

The Liberty Jump Team will demonstrate an airborne jump in vintage World War II uniform.

Organizers said the event generates $5.4 million in economic impact and attracts 100,000 spectators.

The show is set for Oct. 19 through October 20. General admission is free, but parking is $20.  Premium seating is available for purchase at www.allianceairshow.com.

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