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U.S. Air Force Cancels Air Shows In West Germany For 1989

February 16, 1989

RAMSTEIN, West Germany (AP) _ The U.S. Air Force canceled all its air shows in West Germany for 1989, six months after the Ramstein Air Base crash that killed 70 people and injured hundreds, a military spokesman said today.

Three Italian stunt jets collided in flight over Ramstein on Aug. 28, and one of the flaming planes plowed into a crowd of spectators.

That crash, and a series of NATO training flight crashes in West Germany last year that killed more than 100 people, caused a public outcry and demands for a stop to low-level military flights throughout the country.

Air Force spokesman Capt. Kevin Krejcarek said the decision by Commanding Gen. William Kirk to cancel the air shows applies to all flyovers and aerial demonstrations for the general public at U.S. Air Force installations in West Germany.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Krejcarek said the order also applies to ″open houses for the public,″ events regularly staged in the past by the Air Force to permit Germans to familiarize themselves with the U.S. military in Europe.

However, Krejcarek said some air installations may still stage displays of aircraft for members of the military and ″invited guests only.″

The U.S. military’s unofficial Stars and Stripes newspaper reported today that the leftist Social Democrats and Greens parties in the Ramstein area had stepped up their campaign against air shows by circulating petitions and writing letters to newspapers and U.S. officials.

The newspaper quoted Ramstein Mayor Julius Divivier as saying Kirk’s move was ″a wise and good decision.″ Ramstein is about 65 miles southwest of Frankfurt.

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