‘It’s kind of surreal’ USAF Thunderbirds pilot returns home to fly at Dayton air show

BEAVERCREEK — When U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot Kyle Oliver takes to the sky this weekend during the CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show, he will be doing it with a crowd of family and friends watching from his hometown.

Kyle Oliver was born at Wright-Patt Medical Center in 1988 and graduated from Beavercreek High School in 2006.

His dad, Geoffrey Oliver, said the Miami Valley native first spoke about his dream to become an Air Force pilot and to fly with the Thunderbirds when he went to the Dayton Air Show in the summer between his junior and senior year.

“It was just one of those childhood dreams he’s thought it’d be great, but not something realistic,” Geoffrey Oliver said.

Kyle Oliver got his Air Force commission when he graduated from The Ohio State University and had already been selected for his pilot training before graduation.

“He went off to undergraduate pilot training at Vance Air Force Base,” Geoffrey Oliver said. “He got a fighter slot out of that and just kept plugging and chugging and doing all the right things and doing it well.”

Kyle Oliver is in his second season flying with the Thunderbirds and this weekend many of his family members will get to enjoy his homecoming.

“It’s kind of surreal when you think about it that he’s coming back here to his hometown where it all began,” Geoffrey Oliver said. “It’s going to be a big weekend for everyone involved. His mother’s coming into town as well. He’s got a couple of aunts and uncles coming in. We’ve got people coming in from everywhere.”

The Thunderbirds arrive in Dayton later this week and are scheduled to perform at the air show on both Saturday and Sunday.

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