Thunderbirds will not perform Sunday at Vectren Dayton Air Show

Published: Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 12:42 PM
Updated: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 6:10 PM

Latest on Thunderbird crash, Air Show

UPDATE @ 6:10 p.m. (June 24)

While the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will not fly Sunday at the Vectren Dayton Air Show presented by Kroger, the 2017 show will take off with 10 other features, air show organizers said.

The top attractions include a U.S. Air Force F-35 Heritage Flight and U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet demonstration along with Sean Tucker, Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving Team, GEICO Skytypers, Redline Airshows, Rob Holland Ultimate Air Shows, Suzuki Aerosports and a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the famous Doolittle Raid.

Gates open at 9 a.m. Sunday, with the feature show from 11:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

The Thunderbirds canceled performances Saturday and Sunday following a mishap Friday, when an F-16 aircraft flipped on its top in a grassy area after it landed and was taxiing to a staging area. Pilot Capt. Erik Gonsalves remains at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, but passenger Tech Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cordova was released this morning.

UPDATE @ 4:35 p.m. (June 24)

The Thunderbirds announced today that they will not perform Sunday at the Vectren Dayton Air Show, according to an update from the flight team.

UPDATE @ 12:30 p.m. (June 24)

The Thunderbirds performance at the Vectren Dayton Air Show is still uncertain Sunday, according to an afternoon update from the flight team.

“The decision to continue flying operations is to be determined,” the Thunderbirds said.

According to Lt. Col. Jason Heard, Commander/Leader of the Thunderbirds, “Safety is our top priority and we are evaluating our processes and readiness to perform.”

UPDATE @ 7:55 a.m. (June 24)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cordova has been released from the hospital, according to the Thunderbirds.

“Our priority is taking care of our Thunderbird teammates and ensuring future safety,” said Lt. Col. Jason Heard, Thunderbirds Commander/Leader. “ Both teammates were extremely brave during the extraction and we’d like to thank Wright-Patterson Crash and Recovery, Dayton International Fire and Rescue, local police, medical personnel and team members on scene for their incredible recovery efforts.”

RELATED: A.J. Hawk flies with the Thunderbirds ahead of air show

MORE: Who are the pilots involved in the Thunderbirds jet crash?

UPDATE @ 5:50 p.m.

The top priority of the Dayton International Airport is to ensure crowd safety this weekend and help the Thunderbirds team process the incident, Aviation Director Terrence Slaybaugh said.

"We're obviously very disappointed they won't fly [Saturday]," he said. "We'll get through it."

Slaybaugh said the mishap was a "best-case scenario," with a quick response from emergency teams and no fatalities. 

The airport will work "arm in arm" with the military during its investigation into the accident.

Response teams are working to move the aircraft away from the accident site tonight, he said.

RELATED: Former F-16 pilot says wind likely factor in flip over

UPDATE @ 5:09 p.m.

Lt. Col. Jason Heard of the Thunderbirds says there was a “mishap” with the plane upon landing. The pilot and tactical aircraft maintainer that were on board are in good condition.

Heard said the Thunderbirds will not fly on Saturday.

“From the Thunderbirds that were on scene ... to crash recovery ... to fire department ... it was a tremendous effort. Very impressed and grateful,” Heard said.

The injuries are non life-threatening. The man in the back seat had no visible injuries, Heard said.

The pilot had “a lot of experience,” Heard said, with 1600 hours of experience.

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

Heard said “we land in rain all the time.”

Heard said they were able to speak and communicate with the pilot and passenger throughout the recovery effort, which took two hours. They were alert and speaking. 

“The plane sustained damage as it was overturned,” Heard said.

Thunderbird F-16 pilot, team passenger in ‘good condition’ after crash.

UPDATE @ 5 p.m.

The Thunderbirds will be providing an update on the crash and the injured. You can watch live here

UPDATE @ 4:43 p.m.

The Air Force Thunderbirds tweeted their pilot and tactical aircraft maintainer injured in a crash at the Dayton Air Show Friday are in good condition.

In other social media posts by the team, Lt. Col. Jason Heard said, “our first priority is taking care of our Thunderbird teammates and ensuring future safety.” Lt. Col. Heard is the Thunderbirds Commander/Leader.

The performance at Dayton Air Show this weekend is to be determined, but Dayton Air Show organizers say the rest of the planned Dayton Air Show will go on.

UPDATE @ 3:52 p.m.

Terry Slaybaugh, airport director, is speaking. He said it took an “inordinate amount of time” to remove the two occupants of the aircraft. The plane crashed around 12:20 p.m.

A Vectren Dayton Air Show official said the Dayton Air Show will go on as scheduled Saturday. They are unsure yet if the Thunderbirds will fly.

The pilots are conscious and talking.

A ocal man gives eyewitness account of the Thunderbirds plane crash that happened Friday afternoon at Dayton International Airport, leaving two pilots hospitalized.

UPDATE @ 2:38 p.m.

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.”

Members of the United States Air Force Thunderbirds

RELATED: Dayton Air Show: Two previous crashes

UPDATE @ 2:29 p.m.

Reports indicate the second pilot has been removed from the plane.

Officials will soon be giving a live update on the crash. You can watch live here

UPDATE @ 2:05 p.m.

Ricardo von Puttkammer, chief correspondent for Aviation Photojournal, was out in the air field when he witnessed the two-seat Thunderbird taxi on the runway toward the staging area.  

"It was raining, and I was taking pictures of some airplanes," he said. "The plane was taxing and it flipped. Right away the fire department personnel was running toward the accident." 

von Puttkammer said volunteer event staff and media were immediately taken back to the Dayton Airport Expo Center.

UPDATE @ 2:01 p.m.

One pilot has reportedly been extricated and crews are working to extricate a second pilot. 

Toni Bankston, spokeswoman for city of Dayton issued a statement: “The City of Dayton is confirming an aircraft accident involving one of the acts scheduled to appear at the Vectren Dayton Airshow this weekend. There were 2 people on board. Airport Fire and Rescue are providing assistance at the scene. The airport is open.”

PHOTOS: Thunderbird flips on its top at Dayton Air Show

UPDATE @ 1:51 p.m.

Emergency scanner traffic indicates a “front pilot has been disentangled.” Dayton police will escort the medic unit to the hospital.

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

Delays reported at Dayton airport after weather, military accident

UPDATE @ 1:25 p.m.

There are reports that two people are trapped inside the plane.

What you need to know about the Thunderbirds 

UPDATE @ 1:18 p.m.

There are reports of possible entrapment. The injured pilot is to go with CareFlight crew to the hospital, according to emergency scanner traffic.

Dayton Air Show: What to know about Dayton’s biggest air spectacle

UPDATE @ 1:10 p.m.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base first responders have responded to Thunderbird jet crash at Dayton International Airport, according to base spokeswoman Marie Vanover.

UPDATE @ 1:05 p.m.

Medics have arrived on scene. An occupant of the plane has reportedly given medics a “Thumbs Up.”

Emergency scanner traffic indicates the ejection seat is still armed.

The aircraft is as safe as we can make it,” said fire crews on emergency scanners.

UPDATE @ 12:59 p.m.

Dayton Daily News photographer Ty Greenlees is on the scene. He reports photographer Ricardo von Puttkammer told him he saw the two-seat Thunderbird land and taxi toward the staging area when it appeared that a gust of wind flipped the F-16 on its top.

Von Puttkammer is chief correspondent for Aviation Photojournal in New York City.


UPDATE @ 12:56 p.m. 

A tow truck has been called to the scene. The plane went off the runway and is in the grass, according to emergency dispatchers.

A medical helicopter is unable to fly. A CareFlight ground unit is on the way to the air show. We are working to find out the extent of injuries.

UPDATE @ 12:43 p.m.

News Center 7’s John Bedell confirms a military plane is on its top. Law enforcement official confirms a Thunderbird jet on its top.

Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar reports heavy rain in the area at that time. Rainfall rates in the vicinity exceeding two inches per hour, Collar said.

Dayton Air Show has Plan B if grassy lots turn muddy for motorists


There have been reports of a military plane crashing at the Dayton Air Show today at the Dayton International Airport, 3600 Terminal Drive.

An eye witness reports a Thunderbird F-16 coming in for landing, had slipped and wound up on its top. Rescue crews are on the scene. 

We are working to confirm more information and will update this report.

Woman jumps on hood as carjackers take car with baby brother inside

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 11:55 PM


A 24-year-old woman was thrown from a car on Sunday after trying to save her baby brother from carjackers in DeKalb County, Georgia, police said.

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Two men, one of whom had a gun, forced the woman from her car and took off with the eight-month-old baby still in the back seat, according to WSB-TV.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she was strapping her brother into his car seat when two men approached them at an apartment complex. 

"This is very terrifying to watch a gun getting pointed in your face and watching your baby brother getting taken away and you can't do nothing," she said.

The woman risked her life to try and stop the suspects.

"She jumped on the vehicle and was holding on to vehicle,” DeKalb County police spokeswoman Officer Shiera Campbell said. 

When she couldn’t hold on any longer, the woman fell to the ground.

"All I could think about was my brother,” she said. “My brother is in that car. I don't care what they do with the car, just give me my brother."

An assistant store manager later found the child on the sidewalk of a Quik Trip convenience store off Wesley Chapel Road just before 10 p.m. 

The men ditched the baby a half-mile away at the convenience store, assistant store manager Alex Robles said. 

"He drops off the baby on the sidewalk, runs back into his car and just speeds off,” Robles said. “He hits a right on Rainbow and we don't see him again.”

Police are still searching for the stolen car and the armed suspects. 

Robles watched the store's surveillance video; he said they found the baby just before 10 p.m. Sunday.

"No parents, no nobody. I was in shock," Robles said. 

Minutes later, the baby was reunited with his family.

The woman said she or anybody in the area, including her baby brother, could have been shot. 

Police have not released a description of the stolen car, but said one of the men was wearing a red hoodie. 

The store clerk said the other man was wearing a white athletic jacket, but other than that, there was nothing identifiable about the suspects.

Scary dashcam video of suspected drunk driver who nearly kills five people

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 11:25 PM

(Getty file photo)
Jill Waterman/Getty Images
(Getty file photo)(Jill Waterman/Getty Images)

Five people, including three police officers, are lucky to be alive after a suspected drunk driver plowed into their stopped vehicles on the side of the road in Forest Hill, Texas.

Police officers had stopped to tend to a disabled car along Southeast Loop 820, according to the Star-Telegram. They were waiting for a tow truck, with full lights on, when the unthinkable happened. A car headed straight for them, and every terrifying second was caught on dashcam video.

>> Read more trending news

One officer is clearly the first to notice the speeding vehicle. He shoves everyone out of the way after drawing his gun. The out-of-control car barreled into one patrol car, sideswiped a second police car and narrowly missed the disabled car and everyone on the roadside. It then veered into traffic and swerved back onto the side of the road. Sparks flew as the car ground to a stop.

The driver of the speeding car, 26-year-old Cedric Keith Henson Jr., was detained at the scene and cited for driving while intoxicated. Police rushed to remove him from the car as soon as it stopped.

One patrol car was heavily damaged in the crash. Miraculously, no one was hurt and no other motorists were injured.

Police are using the footage to remind people about the dangers of drunk and impaired driving, according to WILX.

It’s a massive national problem. Someone dies in one of these crashes, on average, once every 51 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol-impaired driving deaths alone account for nearly one-third of all driving deaths nationwide, and kill over 10,000 people every year.

New letter from infamous hijacker D.B. Cooper leads to accusations of FBI cover-up

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 10:52 PM

Who Is DB Cooper?

On Nov. 24, 1971, a man identified himself as “Dan Cooper” to an agent at the Northwest Orient Airlines counter in Portland International Airport. He boarded a flight to Seattle. Once on board, he claimed to have a bomb, hijacked the flight, freed the 36 passengers aboard, demanded a ransom of $200,000 and four parachutes, directed the plane to fly to Mexico and then parachuted out of the back of the plane somewhere over Washington.

>> Read more trending news

He’s never been found, nor has any of the money — save for $5800 in rotting $20 bills found by a child digging along the Columbia River in 1980. While law enforcement planes were following the plane he hijacked, no one even saw the jump.

His case — dubbed the D.B. Cooper case after a misspelling that stuck — has captivated the nation ever since.

The FBI called off the search for Cooper last year, reassigning the lone agent on the case, according to the New York Times. They say they did so because the decades-long investigation was taking “investigative resources and manpower” from “programs that more urgently need attention.” Effectively ending the investigation was “really an attempt by the bureau to spare the office from irritating calls, wacky emails and more,” said Geoffrey Gray, a journalist who’s written a book on the investigation.

>> Related: D.B. Cooper: Volunteer sleuths find potential evidence in unsolved 46-year-old hijacking

While the FBI would still follow a specific lead if one turned up, there is no longer a dedicated agent assigned to the crime.

Now, on the week of the 46th anniversary of the hijacking, a newly revealed letter from the infamous case is raising new questions about the unsolved mystery — and an eerie opening line is raising questions about an FBI cover-up from at least one Cooper sleuth.

The letter, which was mailed to the Washington Post, Seattle Times, New York Times and Los Angeles times in just weeks after the hijacking, opens with: “I knew from the start that I wouldn’t be caught.”

“I didn’t rob Northwest Orient because I thought it would be romantic, heroic or any of the other euphemisms that seem to attach themselves to situations of high risk,” the writer adds. “Unfortunately [I] do have only 14 months to live.”

He also lists a few “things working against the authorities,” including:

  • “I’m not a boasting man”
  • “I left no fingerprints”
  • “I wore a toupee”
  • “I wore putty make-up”

Finally, he offers clues to his trajectory — “I’ve come and gone on several airline flights already and am not holed up in some obscure backwoods town” — before signing off with “Thank you for your attention.”

That letter was part of a batch of court documents released in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Thomas and Dawna Colbert, two investigators who run a website dedicated to finding the answers to the mystery and who boast an investigative team of over 40 people.

>> Related: D.B. Cooper case no longer actively investigated by FBI

An excerpt from a FBI memo also from the FOIA release is proof of a conspiracy to hide the identity of D.B. Cooper and the FBI’s own management of the case, according to Thomas Colbert. The excerpt, published in the Daily Mail, ties a letter from the Airline Pilots Association to the just-revealed letter published in the FOIA release. That memo dates back to Dec. 29, 1971.

But FBI redcated the name of the individual who connected the Airline Pilots Association to the Cooper letter. And that, said Colbert, is everything — and combined with the FBI’s move to cease the investigation last year, proof of a cover-up, he said.

The FBI released these sketches of the infamous D.B. Cooper.(FBI )

Batman fans are selecting some odd successors to Ben Affleck's cape

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 10:22 PM

Ben Affleck (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Ben Affleck (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)(Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Ben Affleck’s relationship with Batman has been shaky, to say the least. To begin with, nerds across the globe had meltdowns when it was first announced that he would be inheriting the coveted cape and cowl from British actor Christian Bale, whose tenure in the role was acclaimed by fans and critics alike, despite that weird growling voice thing he used. Not only that, but the two movies in which Affleck has appeared as the Dark Knight have not been warmly received.

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Affleck is apparently signed on for five DC movies, but when asked by Extra TV if he intended to fulfill his contractual obligations, he un-enthusiastically responded with “I don’t know about that. We’ll see what the future holds.”

The actor got the rumor mill spinning even more when, in a recent USA Today profile, he revealed that he hasn’t actually committed to appearing in the upcoming standalone Batman movie, ingeniously titled “The Batman,” adding that he’s still contemplating if the movie is right for him. He also hinted that he’s considering going out with some dignity, despite only appearing as the caped crusader in two poorly received movies: “(It’s) something I’m contemplating,” Affleck said. “You don’t do it forever, so I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it.”

So with rumors abounding that Affleck is about the hang up the cape for good, the internet’s greatest minds began speculating about who his successor will be. And boy, did they have some wacky suggestions:

“I wonder what that boring dude from ‘The Matrix’ would look like in a cowl,” said literally nobody ever aside from this Twitter user:

How about a womanizing advertising executive Batman? Or… who’s that other guy?

Michael Cera as Batman? Imagine it. Good thing Conner here is clearly trolling. Well-played, sir.

OK this one’s actually not so bad. We could live in a world where Idris Elba is Batman.

The kid at Meg’s pool has some lofty aspirations:

Curious about what Jake Gyllenhaal would look like in the cape and cowl? Well you’re in luck, because BossLogic did some mock-ups:

Not everyone is on board with Gyllenhaal as Batman though. Some people were baffled by the mere suggestion:

And this guy just really likes Oscar Isaac. Who doesn’t?!