Long Island

Winds Drop Parachutist Onto Crowds as Weekend Weather Threatens Bethpage Air Show

The Bethpage Air Show is reserved for ticket holders only and the Jones Beach event is sold out

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Strong winds wreaked havoc for a moment on Jones Beach Friday afternoon during rehearsals for this weekend's air show, which is could be further disrupted by rough weather in the forecast.

The highly anticipated return of the Bethpage Air Show scheduled for this weekend - back after the pandemic put the show on pause last year - has been sold out while capacity limits remain in place.

At Friday's rehearsals, a landing parachutist was blown off course and into part of the crowd, landing on at least one spectator. The parachutist walked away unhurt and the woman he landed on said she was just fine.

"I saw it coming and I couldn't run away from it fast enough, and it came right onto," said Ellen Dunn of Merrick, who called the whole event "very scary."

The rest of the afternoon went as planned while the rain held off until after rehearsals ended. Crowds are expected to return to Jones Beach over the next several for the real deal.

"We missed it a lot last year and we were very, very sad we couldn’t do it," Christina Dellanno said Friday. She returned this years with her kids and parents, renewing their annual family tradition.

Everyone watching had to purchase tickets in advance and beach capacity was limited to 50 percent. (No passes for the beach are required for Memorial Day).

Despite pandemic circumstances improving and crowds welcome back, weather could prove another last minute obstacle to the weekend's fun. State officials say a decision will be made each morning.

"The perf will let us know wheater it's safe for them to perform or not," George Gorman of NYS Parks said.

Weather-related updates for the air show will be posted here.

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