Downpour brings final day of Sunderland International Airshow to premature halt

Crowds shelter from the rain at Sunderland International Airshow.
Crowds shelter from the rain at Sunderland International Airshow.

Rain stopped planes today as the last day of Sunderland International Airshow weekend was halted early by a torrential downpour.

After yesterday's flying was badly affected by the weather, and more rain forecast, the organisers took the precaution of starting the displays 15 minutes early today.

Sunderland Council head of events Victoria French.

Sunderland Council head of events Victoria French.

They tried to pack everything in to just over four hours, but heavy rain forced them to the call an early halt to proceedings just before 4pm.

Thousands of people still flocked to the seafront to watch the aerial spectacle and enjoyed entertainment on the ground.

But the day ended in disappointment, as the mighty Typhoon, which was due to close the airshow, was unable to perform its full routine due to the worsening conditions.

Despite the weather-affected weekend, Sunderland Council head of events Victoria French said: "The one thing the planning team can't control is the weather.

"The flight director did a great job of ensuring everything we had in the schedule was able to fly before the weather became too detrimental.

"Unfortunately, the weather was not good enough for the Typhoon to do its full display. It is a shame, but hopefully it will be back for the 30th anniversary next year.

"I think the flight programme has been fantastic. The display teams have done a brilliant job."

No estimates of how many people attended the airshow over the three days were available, but Ms French added: "Friday night was really busy, and I think the numbers were certainly lower yesterday than today."