Acts get chance to soar at Dayton Air Show

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Acts get chance to soar at Dayton Air Show

The flight portion of the Vectren Dayton Air Show at Dayton International Airport ended with a pyrotechic bang as the Aeroshell aerobatic precision flight team flew through a wall of fire to close out the event.

There were no issues on the second day of the show, which was abruptly halted before 1 p.m. on Saturday because of a fatal crash.

Acts that were cancelled after the crash got to perform for the first time including the FasTrax skydiving team, Mike Goulian, Skip Stewart, Melissa Pemberton and the Aeroshell team.

Sean Tucker’s Team Oracle plane took to the sky in a tight corkscrew shortly before 1:30 p.m. Making his 17th appearance at the Vectren Dayton Air Show, Tucker thrilled with aerobatic maneuvers including cutting through three ribbons less than 20 feet above the ground.

“Give me a wave,” he yelled over the PA while making a low, slow pass in front of the crowd.

Just before noon, a moment of silence was held to honor Jane Wicker and Charlie Schwenker.

An announcer said over the PA system, “We are going ahead with our show today because they said during their lives that they would like that to happen.”

Gates opened at 9 a.m. with about 100 people lined up to enter the show grounds. The crowd swelled to thousands by the time planes took to the air at noon.

Many said they have few reservations about attending and stand behind the event, which is in its 39th year.

Milena Smith, of Dayton, said she had some concerns about bringing her 2-year-old sons to the show, but wanted to support the event.

“I want my boys to see some air planes,” Milena Smith said. “They love airplanes.”

Wicker and Schwenker died in the fiery crash Saturday as they performed in front of thousands. It was the second fatal crash in six years at the show.

The 450 HP Stearman biplane carrying wingwalker Wicker was performing near show center when the crash happened at 12:46 p.m.

The crash prompted officials to cancel the rest of Saturday’s show.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash and have scheduled a press conference for this afternoon.

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