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Update: The U.S. Navy Blue Angels have cancelled their appearance at the Dayton Vectren Air Show in 2016.
The Dayton Air Show has confirmed that the U.S. Navy Blue Angels demonstration team will not perform at this years show. The Blue Angels team has been grounded indefinitely since the crash that killed Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss.
Here is the full statement just released by the Vectren Dayton Air Show:
The Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger will continue as planned on June 18th and 19th despite the announcement by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels today they will not be appearing due to an accident by one of their jets last week. The Blues were one of 12 flying attractions scheduled to appear at the 42nd annual show.
"We are saddened by the tragic loss of Marine Captain Jeff Kuss, Blue Angel # 6 in Tennessee last week," stated Michael Emoff, United States Air and Trade Show Board of Trustees Chairman. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Captain Kuss's family and the Blue Angel team members,” he added.
The 2016 show will continue with a spectacular lineup of some of the nation’s top attractions including the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, U.S. Navy Leap Frogs and TORA! TORA! TORA!, a dramatic recreation of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Also appearing will be Hall of Famers Sean Tucker and Patty Wagstaff. In addition, Melissa Pemberton, the P-51 Mustang "Baby Duck", the Wright B Flyer, a U.S. Coast Guard SAR Demonstration, P40 Warhawk and U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight will appear both Saturday and Sunday.
This year's show will also see the return of military aircraft static displays popular with spectators. Over 24 military aircraft will be on display this year up from two in 2015. Leading the static lineup is our nation's newest jet fighter the U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II.
The show plans to add one attraction and tribute to Captain Jeff Kuss to the feature flying show both days. Details will be announced once plans are finalized.
Last appearing in 2008, the Raptor will make an appearance in Dayton. Its incredible maneuverability, aided by its computerized controls and powerful, thrust-vectoring jet engines make the Raptor a must see attraction at this year’s event. The Raptor was the first American fighter jet to fly at supercruise- flying at supersonic speeds without using the afterburner. The F-22 can reach supersonic airspeeds of Mach 1.5 without using the afterburner. The F-22 will be flown by Major Daniel “FFits” Dickinson. Be sure to attend this year’s show to witness all this incredible aircraft has to showcase!
The P-51 Mustang, “Baby Duck” will fly in formation with the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor aircraft. While the Heritage Flight is a memorable sight, seeing the WWII era Mustang as a demonstration will give spectators a better perspective of what some would call the definitive fighter of the ages. The P-51 was a “game changer” for WWII as the Mustang provided critical escort for bombers. The maneuverable Mustang is fast and was a proven champ in dogfights with German fighters. The Foundation P-51D aircraft is currently painted in the markings of Capt. Herbert G. Kolb’s P-51D “Baby Duck”.
TORA! TORA! TORA! will present a dramatic recreation of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. This emotionally moving crowd favorite consists of replica Zero fighters, Kate torpedo bombers and Val dive bomber aircraft, eight in total, along with realistic explosions, fire and smoke. An emotional and factual narration complete with President Roosevelt’s address places you in the battle and salutes fallen soldiers on both sides of the conflict. The feature is a vivid history lesson for air show spectators.
The Navy’s parachute team, known as the Leap Frogs, will leap join the U.S. Navy Blue Angels in Dayton this year. 2004 was the last appearance the Leap Frogs made at the Vectren Dayton Air Show. The team consists of active-duty personnel drawn from Naval Special Warfare (NSW), including Navy SEALS and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC). The Leap Frogs, known for their aggressive style of jumping, will thrill spectators with their precision aerial maneuvers including free fall speeds up to 180 miles per hour. After performances the Leap Frogs will sign autographs and answer questions about what it’s like to be a Navy SEAL or SWCC. The 15 member team will travel to Dayton from their Naval Base in San Diego, California.
Sean D. Tucker is known as one of the world’s best aviators. Sean started his career as an aerobatic pilot in 1976. He has flown more than 1,200 performances at 475 air shows in front of more than 105 million fans. Sean has received numerous awards and recognitions including being named as one of the Living Legends of Flight, a prestigious group of aviators including General Jimmy Doolittle, General Charles Yeager, and John Glenn. When not flying, Sean is actively involved in the aviation community. He is currently serving as Chairman of the Young Eagles Program and works with at-risk kids through the Every Kid Can Fly program.
Award-winning aerobatic pilot, Melissa Pemberton will amaze spectators this year with her high-energy and action-packed aerobatic routine. Collecting numerous flying awards in her aerobatic career, Melissa strives to be a role model and inspiration to young people and women everywhere, showing them that no dream is too big and nothing is impossible!
The Short Tucano is owned and operated by Lee Leet and is based in Louisville, KY. It is a two-seat turboprop basic trainer which was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF). In the early 1990s, this aircraft was selected as one of two RAF Tucano Demonstration aircraft. Its current paint scheme was received as part of the demonstration team. The aircraft was eventually transferred back to normal training service and later sold at an auction.
Wilbur and Orville Wright built the powered aircraft which made the first sustained, controlled flights right here in Dayton. In 1975, a project was launched to build a flyable replica of the original Wright “B” Flyer. No detailed construction drawings were kept of the original Wright B Military Flyer, so developers used the Model B in the National Museum of the Air Force as a template. Volunteers nicknamed the airplane, “Brown Bird” because of its color. The “Brown Bird” will take to the skies at this year’s Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger!
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