The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly overhead during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2008 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Thunderbirds cancel Ohio air show appearance

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DAYTON, Ohio - The U.S. Air Force's grounding of its Thunderbirds jet demonstration team means the planes won't be headlining this summer's Dayton Air Show.

It's not a surprise. The Air Force earlier announced that it planned to ground the Thunderbirds April 1 if a federal budget deal wasn't reached.

Organizers of the popular Dayton Air Show made the Thunderbirds' cancellation official in a release Thursday.

The air show is scheduled to go on June 22 and 23 with 14 other aerial acts.

The Air Force said flying hours normally set aside for its demonstration acts, including the Thunderbirds and the F-22 Raptor, are being reserved for national readiness activities. The service projects the automatic budget cuts will mean the reduction of 203,000 flying hours, a fifth of the total.

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