Thunderbirds CANCEL Saturday flight at Dayton Air Show; Sunday undetermined after crash 

Published: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 @ 2:30 PM
Updated: Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 1:23 PM

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have arrived in Dayton for the upcoming Vectren Dayton Air Show

The Air Force Thunderbirds Commander, Lt. Col Jason Heard announced late Friday that the Thunderbirds will not perform Saturday at the Dayton Air Show following Friday’s crash that injured Pilot Capt. Erik Gonsalves and Tactical Aircraft Maintainer Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cordova. Both men are in good condition at Miami Valley Hospital.

Thunderbirds Pilot Capt. Erik Gonsalves and Tactical Aircraft Maintainer Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cordova were injured in a crash following landing at the Dayton International Airport. PHOTOS

Aviation Director Terrence Slaybaugh said the top priority of the airport is to ensure crowd safety this weekend and help the Thunderbirds team process the incident.

RELATED: Who are the Thunderbirds injured in Dayton Air Show crash?

"We're obviously very disappointed they won't fly [tomorrow]," Slaybaugh 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 Dayton 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 a factor in flip over

The Air Force Thunderbirds were expected to perform at the Vectren Dayton Air Show Saturday and Sunday for only the second time since 2013 when the team was grounded because of budget cuts.

Here’s what you need to know about the Thunderbirds:

1. The Thunderbirds fly six single-seat F-16C jets in aerobatic formation, but a seventh two-seat F-16D jet accompanied the team to Dayton to fly VIP and media riders prior to the air show. The team, which will perform at 36 locations this year, is based at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and was last in Dayton in 2015.

The Thunderbirds jet mishap was the first major aviation related incident at the air show since the fatal crash of a wing walker and a pilot in front of thousands of horrified spectators June 22, 2013.

The Boeing Stearman biplane crash killed wing walker Jane Wicker, 45, and pilot Charlie Schwenker, 64, both Virginia-based air show performers.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause of the biplane crash was “pilot controlled flight into terrain.”

In 2007, show pilot Jim Leroy, 46, of Lake City, Fla., died after failing to maintain clearance from the ground during an acrobatic routine in a 400-horsepower Bulldog Pitts, the NTSB reported. The board also concluded “smoke oil” in the air where the performers flew was a factor in the crash at the Dayton Air Show.

RELATED: What to eat and drink before or after Dayton Air Show

2. The Thunderbirds fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon, which first entered service in 1979. The squadrons use “dated aircraft, generally older models” with the most modern aircraft reserved for frontline combat missions. F-16s each cost approximately $18.8 million.

RELATED: F-35 to make flying debut at Dayton Air Show

3. Many of the Thunderbirds pilots have combat experience in the skies over Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

To be in the squadron can be quite “grueling” and physically “exhausting,” pilots say. The Thunderbirds have eight pilots, including six demonstration pilots, four support officers and more than 100 enlisted personnel.

RELATED: A.J. Hawk flys with Thunderbirds

4. The Thunderbirds stated mission is to showcase the aircraft of the Air Force while highlighting the skills and professionalism of their pilots. They are also tasked with engaging in community outreach, bolstering military recruitment and strengthening morale and esprit de corps in the services.

The squadrons perform 75-minute shows, involving 40 aerial maneuvers, and will hold up to 80 shows in a “season,” which typically starts in March and ends in November.

RELATED: Air Show parade canceled

5. The Thunderbirds were launched in 1953. The deadliest accident in Thunderbirds history is the infamous “Diamond Crash” of 1983, which cost the lives of four Thunderbirds pilots. At the time, the Air Force concluded that a mechanical failure in one of the jets flying in the four-plane formation caused the deadly accident.

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Subtropical Storm Alberto strengthens bringing gusty winds, heavy rains, storm surge to Gulf region

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 10:31 AM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 10:31 AM

What is a Storm Surge

Tropical storm warnings are up across Florida and along parts of the Gulf Coast as Subtropical Storm Alberto lumbers across the Gulf of Mexico ruining Memorial Day holiday plans for thousands of vacationers.

>> Read more trending news

Update May 27, 2018 11 a.m. EDT: Subtropical Storm Alberto is strengthening with wind speeds clocked at 50 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center, or NHC. The storm is moving north at 14 mph and it’s located about 130 miles southwest of Tampa.

Isolated tornadoes are possible as Alberto closes in on the region. Forecasters are predicting Alberto will make landfall sometime late Sunday or Monday, bringing gusty winds, heavy rain, flash flooding and storm surge to parts of the Gulf Coast.

>> Related: Alberto: PBC saw up to 3 inches of rain last night; expect more Sunday

“Alberto is expected to produce heavy rainfall with a risk of flooding and flash flooding over western Cuba, the Florida Keys and south Florida today. The risk for heavy rainfall and flooding will then spread over much of the southeast U.S. tonight and Monday,” according to the NHC.

The NHC is warning of “dangerous surf and rip current conditions” along parts of the eastern and northern Gulf Coast through Monday.

>> Related: Alberto starts to bring rain to Central Florida as storm moves north

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A tropical storm warning has been issued for parts of the Florida Gulf Coast including from Bonita Beach to the Anclote River as well as north near the Aucilla River to the Mississippi/Alabama border, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

Heavy rainfall is expected as the storm, with sustained winds of 40 mph, continues to move at 13 mph through the Dry Tortugas. 

Five day forecast map. (Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

A storm surge watch has also been issued for parts of Florida and the Mississippi/Alabama border, officials said

The latest forecast ends the tropical storm and storm surge watch for parts of Louisiana. 

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WHIO Reports: Human trafficking

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 9:34 AM

Sign of Human Trafficking

This edition of WHIO Reports will focus on human trafficking. It sounds like the kind of crime that happens somewhere else around the country. But, in fact, it’s happening in the Miami Valley. It’s a combination of a lot of crimes, often times it involves drugs, prostitution, organized crime, forced labor – some of them or all of the above. 

RELATED: Indiana gas stations teach staff to report human trafficking

Guests include: Tonya Folks, Trafficking Liaison with Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department; Susan Gruenberg, Human Trafficking Awareness Advocate and Amy Wilhelm, Safe Harbor House (Springfield).

WHIO Reports airs Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

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Hot with the slight chance for rain for the rest of the holiday weekend

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 3:49 AM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 10:35 AM

It's going to be hot today and Monday, with the slight chance for rain each day.

Lots of sunshine is expected today with highs in the upper 80s to near 90 degrees. With the daytime heat, there may be an isolated shower or storm, but it looks like most will stay dry. Don’t cancel your outdoor plans, but have a backup plan indoors, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. 

>>Live Interactive Doppler 7 Radar


  • Hot and humid today through Tuesday
  • Slight chance for an isolated shower or storm today and Monday
  • Better chance for rain Wednesday and Thursday

>>WHIO Weather App

Tonight: A mild night is expected again with temperatures dropping into the middle to upper 60s.

>>How to spot Jupiter through the weekend

Monday (Memorial Day): Should be a dry day, but once again an isolated shower or storm can’t be ruled out. It will be a hot day with highs near 90 degrees.

>>UV Index: How to protect your skin 

Tuesday: Another hot day is expected with highs near 90 under mostly sunny skies.

Wednesday: Remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto could bring a chance for rain, maybe storms with highs in the middle 80s. 

Thursday: Remnants of Alberto will give us more rain, highs in the middle 80s.

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Family sues district after daughter, 5, sexually assaulted on bus by fifth grade student

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 9:02 PM

Family Sues District After 5-Year-Old Daughter Sexually Assaulted on Bus by Fifth Grade Student

A family is suing the Jackson Local School District in federal court for a 2016 incident in which their 5-year-old daughter was sexually abused by a fifth grade student on a bus, according to the lawsuit.

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The 11-year-old boy had been disciplined for throwing a lit match on the bus and was supposed to sit in the front right seat alone, the family’s attorney told WJW.

But that didn’t happen.

“The driver is unable to see the seat right behind him,” Mills told WJW. “So then over a period of a couple weeks, the kindergartner is subjected to sexual assaults. It is horrific. It is one of the most horrifying cases I have ever handled.”

The boy was charged with gross sexual imposition, according to WJW. A police report indicated video on the school bus showed the sexual assaults.

The Jackson Schools superintendent would not comment because it is an active lawsuit, according to WJW. The boy and his family have since moved out of the district.

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