The Air Force Thunderbirds will perform in their first air show since the death of team member Maj. Stephen “Cajun” Del Bagno.

The team, part of the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on Monday announced it will resume its show season at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, on May 19 and 20.

“The Thunderbirds look forward to safely resuming public shows at ‘Air Power over Hampton Roads,’ ” said Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, the team commander and lead pilot, in a release. “It’s been challenging to get us to this point, but the team is resilient, focused and ready to get back to our mission of recruiting, retaining and inspiring.”

Air Combat Command commander Gen. Mike Holmes recently determined the Thunderbirds are ready to return to their upcoming schedule as they continue to recover from their first fatal mishap in 36 years, the release said.

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Del Bagno, the F-16 slot pilot flying the team’s No. 4 jet, was participating in a routine training flight at the Nevada Test and Training Range on April 4 when his jet crashed. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Before joining the team, Del Bagno was an F-35A Joint Strike Fighter evaluator pilot and chief of standardization and evaluation with the 58th Fighter Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

The Valencia, California, native had more than 3,500 flying hours in over 30 different aircraft, with 1,400 hours as an Air Force pilot.

Following the incident, the Thunderbirds stood down training operations and canceled shows. The team resumed training April 18.

Maj. Nick Krajicek, a veteran of the team, returned to the Thunderbirds on April 26 to fill Del Bagno’s spot and is set to remain as the slot pilot the rest of the season.

— Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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