Friday, July 20, 2012

Preventing a crash at the Sioux Falls Air Show

Just last summer, an Iowa pilot was killed after his plane crashed at a Kansas City air show. Just last Friday, a pilot crashed at an air show in Idaho but only had minor injuries. 

Sioux Falls Air Show officials are doing everything they can to prevent a crash from happening here.

The South Dakota Air National Guard and its partners have put on a number of air shows in Sioux Falls since 1986.

"Each one of those has been safe but that doesn't mean we let our guard down," Christopherson said.

Lt. Col. Reid Christopherson says that's because they focus strongly on safety.

"We have a written plan, we have exercised that plan. We're standing by with civil, with military response with the fire, police and medical," Christopherson said.

They even have an emergency operation center ready to go in case a crash were to happen.

Christopherson says flying these types of planes isn't just for the average pilot. It takes a long time to train.

"We have great civilian acts that have been selected because of their flying history and safe flying history," Christopherson said.

And he says pilots know to stay away from the thousands of people watching.

"We direct so they're away from crowds and operating in a safe location," Christopherson said.

And for those of us going to the show this weekend, we have a role to play, too.

"Stay out of the area where they marked. Keep yourself safe. Don't create a medical emergency for us," Christopherson said.

And he says keep in mind your safety is their priority.

"If everyone comes out and takes care of themselves and looks out for everyone around them, we're going to have a safe air show," Christopherson said.

The vice president of the Sioux Falls Air Show says there has not been an accident involving the death of an air show spectator in over 60 years in the United States. 

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