The Thunderbirds have canceled two more air shows in the wake of a plane crash that killed a pilot last week, a team spokesman said Tuesday.
Master Sgt. Christopher Boitz said the team of elite pilots will not perform at an air show in Lakeland, Florida, this weekend. He said the team also canceled performances scheduled for the following weekend at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.
The Thunderbirds canceled a performance at March Air Force Base in Southern California last weekend following the crash that killed Maj. Stephen Del Bagno on April 4.
Del Bagno was flying an F-16 during a routine training mission on the Nevada Test and Training Range outside Las Vegas. The test range covers 3 million acres and provides 12,000 square miles of restricted airspace to the north and northwest of Las Vegas for pilots to rehearse and test warplanes. Del Bagno flew under the call sign “Cajun.”
Show dates are scheduled for the Thunderbirds until early November. It is unclear how the deadly crash will affect the rest of the season.
In a video posted online Monday, Thunderbirds commander Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh said Del Bagno “lived to fly and inspire the next generation.”
“We remember Cajun as an airman, a warrior, a talented fighter pilot and a great friend,” Walsh said.
A private service for Del Bagno is scheduled for Wednesday, Boitz said.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.