Thunderbird crash at the Dayton Air Show: What we know now

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Thunderbird crash at the Dayton Air Show: What we know now

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Ty Greenlees
A Thunderbird flipped at the Dayton international airport on Friday, June 23. Ty Greenlees/Staff Photographer

Early this afternoon, a military plane crashed at the Dayton Air Show at the Dayton International Airport. 

Here is what we know: 

The plane. An F-16 Thunderbird was flipped on its top when a strong gust of wind hit the plane after it landed. The plane was taxiing to a staging area before it ended up in the grass. 

Bad weather. Radar tracked sustained winds of 30 mph during just before 1 p.m. Throughout the day there has been heavy rain with some areas receiving 2 inches per hour. 

The pilots. Just minutes after the crash a CareFlight ground unit arrived on the scene, since a medical helicopter was unable to fly. Scanner traffic indicated reports of a possible double entrapment, since then a “front pilot has been disentangled.” Dayton police will escort the CareFlight medic unit to the hospital. 

Reports indicate the second pilot has been removed from the plane as of 2:30 p.m.

Capt. Erik Gonsalves was the pilot, and the passenger was Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cordova.

Statement.  From Thunderbirds Facebook page:  “The United States Air Force Thunderbirds were conducting a single-ship familiarization flight on Friday June 23, 2017. Upon landing there was a mishap at the Dayton International Airport with an F-16D Fighting Falcon at approximately 12:20 p.m. Emergency services are on the scene. We will provide more information as it becomes available.”

No performance Saturday. Lt. Col. Jason Heard of the Thunderbirds said there was a “mishap” with the plane upon landing. Heard said the Thunderbirds will not fly on Saturday.

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