DAYTON, Ohio — The U.S. Navy’s famed Blue Angels are set to soar over Dayton for the first time in four years.
The Dayton Air Show, scheduled for June, was without a headline military jet team the past two years after crashes grounded both the Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, preventing them from performing in Dayton.
A Blue Angel jet made a stop in Dayton last week as part of a nationwide tour. The Dayton Air Show is scheduled for June 23-24.
The Thunderbirds canceled their Dayton performances this summer after a jet slid off a runway at Dayton International Airport and crashed, injuring the pilot, the Dayton Daily News reported. An Air Force investigation concluded that excessive speed and the jet landing too far down the runway as factors in the crash.
The Blue Angels canceled their Dayton performances in 2016 after a crash killed a pilot during a practice show in Tennessee.
Dayton Air Show officials said they’re pleased they’ll have a marquee act at next summer’s event.
“We’ve pulled it off without a jet team and still had a quality show, but it’s the centerpiece,” said chairman Scott Buchanan. “It will be very good to have a jet team back.”
Organizers have said attendance has dipped in years when jet teams didn’t perform. The air show drew an estimated 44,000 spectators this year and 51,000 in 2016.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com