Friday, June 23, 2017

General Dynamics F-16D Fighting Falcon, United States Air Force Thunderbirds: Accident occurred June 23, 2017 at Dayton International Airport (KDAY), Montgomery County, Ohio

Thunderbird F-16 pilot, team passenger in ‘good condition’ after crash. 



UPDATE at 5:09 p.m.

Lt. Col. Jason Heard of the Thunderbirds says there was a “mishap” with the plane upon landing. The pilot and tactical aircraft maintainer that were on board are in good condition.

Heard said the Thunderbirds will not fly on Saturday.

“From the Thunderbirds that were on scene ... to crash recovery ... to fire department ... it was a tremendous effort. Very impressed and grateful,” Heard said.

The injuries are non life-threatening. The man in the back seat had no visible injuries, Heard said.

The pilot had “a lot of experience,” Heard said, with 1600 hours of experience.

Capt. Erik Gonsalves was the pilot, and the passenger was Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cordova.

Heard said “we land in rain all the time.”

Heard said they were able to speak and communicate with the pilot and passenger throughout the recovery effort, which took two hours. They were alert and speaking. 

“The plane sustained damage as it was overturned,” Heard said.

UPDATE at 5 p.m.


The Thunderbirds will be providing an update on the crash and the injured.

UPDATE at 4:43 p.m. 

The Air Force Thunderbirds tweeted their pilot and tactical aircraft maintainer injured in a crash at the Dayton Air Show Friday are in good condition.

In other social media posts by the team, Lt. Col. Jason Heard said, “our first priority is taking care of our Thunderbird teammates and ensuring future safety.” Lt. Col. Heard is the Thunderbirds Commander/Leader.

The performance at Dayton Air Show this weekend is to be determined, but Dayton Air Show organizers say the rest of the planned Dayton Air Show will go on.

UPDATE: The plane sustained damage and the pilot and his passenger, a tactical aircraft maintainer, were taken to a local hospital.

Terry Slaybaugh, airport director, is speaking. He said it took an “inordinate amount of time” to remove the two occupants of the aircraft. The plane crashed around 12:20 p.m.

A Vectren Dayton Air Show official said the Dayton Air Show will go on as scheduled Saturday. They are unsure yet if the Thunderbirds will fly.

The pilots are conscious and talking.

UPDATE at 2:38 p.m.

From Thunderbirds Facebook page:  “The United States Air Force Thunderbirds were conducting a single-ship familiarization flight on Friday June 23, 2017. Upon landing there was a mishap at the Dayton International Airport with an F-16D Fighting Falcon at approximately 12:20 p.m. Emergency services are on the scene. We will provide more information as it becomes available.”

Story and video:  http://www.whio.com






DAYTON, Ohio — Authorities say a military jet apparently practicing for an Ohio air show has been involved in an accident.

Sgt. Penelope Reed of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in Dayton says a report was received around 12:30 p.m. Friday of a jet off the end of a runway and on its top at the Dayton International Airport. She says Wright-Patterson Air Force Base dispatched a crash team and heavy rescue crew.


No injuries were immediately reported as emergency responders worked to extricate the aircraft's two occupants. Reed says there was no immediate report of any injuries.


A statement Friday from the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds said the General Dynamics F-16D Fighting Falcon was conducting a "single-ship familiarization" and had a "mishap."


The Thunderbirds didn't immediately release any additional information.

1 comment:

Jim B said...


I cannot say that I know much about the F-16 but I suspect the recovery crew had to safe the ejection seats before the crew members could egress.

Glad they made it.