‘Hometown Heroes’ taking off today in flights with Thunderbirds

Published: Friday, June 21, 2019 @ 12:15 AM

The Air Force Thunderbirds Arrive for Vectren Dayton Air Show

Two “hometown heroes” will go up in flight with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds on Friday to honor their lifesaving work.

Capt. Brian Seidenschmidt with fire and rescue at the Dayton International Airport led the efforts to rescue the Thunderbird crew in the 2017 mishap after an F-16 piloted by Maj. Erik “Speedy” Gonsalves flipped off a rain-soaked runway at the Vectren Dayton Air Show. Gonsalves survived and is flying again, and tech Sgt. Kenneth Cordova, riding in the back of the fighter jet, also survived.

»RELATED: Insider’s guide to the Dayton Air Show: 7 things to know before you go

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Xenia firefighter Levi Dalton also will fly with the Thunderbirds in honor of using CPR to save a lifeless 17-month-old child in February.

The 70-person Thunderbird team arrived today to the Dayton airport to begin preparations for the Saturday and Sunday shows.

Aerobatic aviator Sean D. Tucker, a popular Dayton Air Show staple, also will take Fairborn essay contest winner Olivia Collins on a flight Friday.

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