Fighter jet involved in accident at Dayton International Airport


An F-16D used by the famous Air Force Thunderbirds aerobatic team on Friday ran off the runway and overturned while preparing for an OH air show, sending two airmen to the hospital. Authorities say both were in good condition after the accident at the Dayton Airport.

The F-16 appeared to be practicing in thunderstorm conditions ahead of this weekend's 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show.

Lt. Col. Jason Heard, who leads the Air Force's aerial acrobatics team, said the jet skidded about 300 feet off the end of the runway, and that he could not recall another incident quite like it in the Thunderbirds' 64-year history.

Heard said the pilot suffered some lacerations and injuries to his leg and the other team member had no visible injuries.

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One of the two on board was South Florida native Capt. Erik Gonsalves, who was piloting the plane. They use the F-16 Fighting Falcon to perform aerial acrobatics and formation flying at air shows across the world.

The opening ceremonies for the Dayton Air Show are slated for Saturday.

Penelope Reed of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in Dayton told The Associated Press that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base dispatched a crash team and heavy rescue crew. A Thunderbirds statement said the fighter jet was conducting a "single-ship familiarization" when it had the "mishap".

The Dayton Air Show is expected to go on as scheduled but the last update from the Thunderbirds stated that their performance in the air show is to be determined.