U.S. Air Force Cancels Air Shows In West Germany For 1989
RAMSTEIN, West Germany (AP) _ Six months after a fiery air show crash at a U.S. base killed 70 people, the U.S. Air Force said Thursday it had canceled all its air shows in West Germany this year.
Air Force spokesman Capt. Kevin Krejcarek said the decision by Commanding Gen. William Kirk applies to all flyovers and aerial demonstrations for the general public at Air Force installations in West Germany.
On Aug. 28, three Italian stunt jets collided in flight over the Ramstein Air Base, and one of the flaming planes plowed into a crowd of spectators. In addition to the 70 killed, hundreds of people were injured.
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.
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 still may stage displays of aircraft for members of the military and ″invited guests only.″
The U.S. military’s unofficial Stars and Stripes newspaper reported Thursday 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.