Red Arrows

Sunday's Chicago Air And Water Show Delays But Delights

Catch up on the Air and Water Show with WBBM's Sunday recap.

August 18, 2019 - 5:03 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- After numerous delays and a damp beginning to the day, Sunday's Air and Water Show finally got underway at 12 p.m. 

The show was cut short by two hours, which also cut at least five civilian acts. But Susan Dacy, one of two women performers scheduled for Saturday, got her moment in the sky to shine. She performs in a biplane and was part of Sunday's festivities. 

In total, Sunday's show had 12 air acts that brought Chicagoans from near and far to see the upward spectacle. Some watched from their high rise apartments while others stood at the beach to be close to the action, waiting out the lighting and rain before the show started. Hundreds of others watched our live Facebook breadcast and tuned into our coverage. 

Michelle Renee Thompson and her family were the first ones to set up chairs at Oak Street Beach, Craig Dellimore reports. They waited out the rain and lightning to enjoy a first in a lifetime experience, one that Thompson had never seen depsite living in the city for more than a decade, she said.

"Patience paid off that we sat and waited out the rain," Thompson said. "I have been here 28 years and this is finally my first air show."

Thompson's husband, who is from the U.K., also enjoyed the spectacle and had never seen the U.K. Red Arrows, which were one of the most-anticipated acts of the show.

The show's highlights were the Red Arrows (seen above) and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, which had some technical difficulties and started late. According to the Chicago scanner, the third jet had engine problems and flew back to Gary, Indaiana — where the fleet took off — to get the spare jet. After that, it was smooth sailing once again for the blue team.

The Blue Angels took the skies around 2:50 p.m. and lasted until 3:30, showing off their signature diamond formation. The fleet was the gand finale to the show and got plenty of airtime after not being able to perform yesterday because of the weather. 

Jeff Mullins, one of the pilots, spoke with Andy Giersher before the weekend's show and shared his role in the fleet, what he was most excited about and why he thinks he has the best view while in the air. Watch the full interview below.

Residents like Thompson expressed their love of the show on social media and showed their view of the sky's activities, which were not dampened depsite the late start.

Our livestream of the event reached close to 100,000 people and was shared over 300 times. It was also the highest-performing stream of the day from all of our networks, according to statistics from the stream. 

So that marks another Air and Water Show for the record of success. Although some civilans got cut from the lineup, overall the 61st weekend show delighted the city's viewers and those flying high up top.

Need a Saturday recap? We got you covered. Want to rewatch today's show? We also got you covered.