The annual United States Air Force Thunderbirds air show in Cheyenne was grounded today due to inclement weather. Conditions were eerily similar 40 years ago this week, when a United States Air Force Thunderbirds pilot was killed after his plane crashed at Frontier Park on July 25, 1977.

Captain Charlie Carter was attempting to gain his altitude after a thwarted landing at Cheyenne Regional Airport when he his T-38 Talon jet lost control and landed in the bullpen. Tragically, Carter ejected too late and fell onto a concession stand. Two bulls were also killed during the accident.

Carter's co-pilot, Staff Sargent Ted Foster ejected into the rodeo arena and escaped with only minor injuries. A 16-year-old boy also suffered a broken arm when he was struck by debris from the plane.

The air show has been a Cheyenne Frontier Days tradition since 1953. The Thunderbirds had another close call during their 2011 performance when a plane was forced to make an emergency landing. In 2013, the exhibition was called off due to budget cuts.

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