The Cleveland National Air Show opened Saturday with heightened safety rules in effect to protect spectators in the aftermath of the West German air show disaster.
The Federal Aviation Administration - even before the Aug. 28 disaster - required high-speed aircraft at air shows to operate at least 1,500 feet from spectators. That put aircraft several hundred feet out over the lake this weekend.Organizers gathered an array of vintage and late-model aircraft for the city's 59th air show, including the British supersonic Concorde, the B-1B bomber, a sail plane, the Harrier vertical takeoff jet fighter, radio-controlled models and the 12-foot-long BD-5 jet, the world's smallest.
The Navy's Blue Angels precision flying team will take part.
A spokesman for the Blue Angels, whose performances highlight each afternoon of the show, said there had not been unusual public interest in the team's appearance despite the disaster at Ramstein, West Germany.
One of the newest members of the Blue Angels, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Ziegler, prepared for the weekend performances with two days of practice flights across the lakefront.
Ziegler, an 11-year Navy veteran who joined the Blue Angels in October, said their maneuvers, with a maximum of six planes in the air at a time, were breathtaking but less risky than the 10-plane, three-direction maneuver that ended in disaster at Ramstein.