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Who are the 2 Thunderbirds in Friday's Dayton Air Show crash?

Published: Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 5:49 PM
Updated: Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 10:50 PM
By: Breaking News Staff, Jeremy P. Kelley

A U.S. Air Force pilot and tactical aircraft maintainer sustained injuries in a plane crash Friday at the Dayton Air Show.

The pilot, Capt. Erik Gonsalves, is the advance pilot/narrator for the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, flying the No. 8 jet, according to an Air Force biography.

Gonsalves entered the Air Force in 2008 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and he is in his first season with the Thunderbirds team.

Before joining the Thunderbirds, he served as an A-10C flight evaluator and the chief of standardization and evaluation for the 75th Fighter Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Ga.

He has logged more than 1,600 flight hours as an Air Force pilot, with more than 500 hours of combat experience in the A-10C. 

Gonsalves hails from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In high school, he served as the captain of the volleyball team. He also enjoys marathon running and snow and water skiing. 

PHOTOS: Thunderbird flips on its top at Dayton Air Show

Tech Sgt. Kenneth Cordova has been in the Air Force since 2009, and serves as a tactical aircraft maintainer, according to the Air Force. 

Some of Cordova's responsibilities include performing scheduled inspections, functional checks and preventive maintenance on tactical aircraft and aircraft-installed equipment, his biography says.

He also maintains and repairs all parts of the aircraft and ensures that the aircraft are properly serviced with fuel, hydraulic fluid and liquid oxygen. 

Cordova was stationed at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska prior to joining the team. He is from Littleton, Colo., and his hobbies are hunting, fishing and camping.

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