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American Heroes Air Show | Los Angeles is cancelled

 Friday, July 1

Good morning all:

This is an extremely difficult message to share with all of you, however after extensive discussions with our volunteer event team as well as many of the organizations participating with helicopters for the American Heroes Air Show, we have elected to cancel the American Heroes Air Show scheduled for Saturday, July 16, 2011 at the Hansen Dam Sports Complex.

For all of us on the event team this is an especially disappointing decision after the many encouraging calls and enthusiastic e-mails we’ve received about the event but we are seeing the real effects of the CALTRANS closure of the 405 Freeway - many of which are just now becoming known to us. As many of you know, we have to schedule the Heroes event in January in order to get the approvals in place for military aircraft. When we learned of the CALTRANS decision to close the 405 freeway in late May our view was that the guests who wanted to come the event would find a way to get there and we continued with the planning and work with our participants and sponsors.

Very recently we’ve learned that many law enforcement organizations who have over the years provided a significant presence at the event with helos for static / demos have been re-tasked for the July 16/17 weekend to be on active standby and fly surveillance missions to assess traffic flow during the weekend. Additionally, several Search & Rescue teams and aircraft with long-time ties to the American Heroes Air Show have declined to attend so they can be on active standby for any issues that may arise due to increased traffic flow as people use the canyon roads for alternative routes.

Additionally, the aircraft that provide the popular red, white & blue “Tribute” water drop have declined to participate this year.

Several other airborne public safety units have expressed informal concerns about attending on this “closure” weekend. Given the extreme uncertainty which the CALTRANS 405 closure has created across the Southland, along with our city / county officials relentlessly advising families to stay home that weekend, we feel it would be counter-productive to continue with the event planning and unfair to our guests to invite them to an admission-free show about helicopters and not have the diversity of aircraft they are used to seeing.

Also, in several instances our departing sponsors have shared their belief that team coverage level media attention during the weekend will be focused on “car-mageddon” stories about the freeway closure with little or no attention paid to their presence at the American Heroes Air Show.

Additionally, financial pressures from increased fuel costs and event permit fees along with the diminished participation make cancelling the July 16 American Heroes Air Show – Los Angeles the right decision.

This uncertainty and inconvenience, financial pressures and media focus are the main elements comprising a perfect storm of challenges which we did not anticipate and ultimately formed the basis for our decision to cancel the American Heroes Air Show in Los Angeles for this year.

Looking ahead, our plan is to make sure we contact our participants, vendors and guests with news of the cancellation and retain our meager financial resources for next year when we hope the schedule and economic climate will be more conducive to this type of community event.

I will be in touch personally with our vendors / sponsors who have stuck with us to make arrangements to fully refund any reservation monies they have sent in.

We’ve had this cancellation notice also posted on our event website and we hope you can help us get the word out by sharing this information with your friends and associates.

On behalf of our entire volunteer event team, it has been our sustaining privilege to work with all the Heroes of Southern California on this event and we sincerely appreciate your support since 1993 for the American Heroes Air Show – Los Angeles.

Our best regards,

James D. Paules Jr.

Volunteer - Event Director

Founder & President,

The American Heroes Aviation Network, Inc.

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