Air Force Thunderbird flips in Dayton after practice for air show

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, one of the world's premier aerial demonstration teams, are pictured performing at Scott Airforce Base. One of the Thunderbird's F-16D Fighting Falcon aircraft flipped on Friday afternoon while taxiing at Dayton International Airport following a training exercise for the Dayton Air Show this weekend. U.S. Air Force photo

June 23 (UPI) — The incident occurred during after an Air Force Thunderbird aerial demonstration team exercise at Dayton International Airport.

A Thunderbird F-16D Fighting Falcon jet flipped over on the runway while taxiing, and two people were reported trapped in the plane. A crash crew from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, along with heavy rescue equipment, was dispatched.

“Upon landing there was a mishap at the Dayton International Airport with an F-16D Fighting Falcon at approximately 12:20 p.m,” the Thunderbirds posted on their Facebook page. “Emergency services are on the scene. We will provide more information as it becomes available.”

Both pilots have been removed from the wreckage. There have been no reports of injuries or fuel leaks.

“It was raining, and I was taking pictures of some airplanes,” Ricardo von Puttkammer, a correspondent for Aviation Photojournal who witnessed the incident, told WHIO TV-7. “The plane was taxiing and it flipped. Right away the fire department personnel was running toward the accident.”

The team was undergoing a familiarization and training exercise in preparation for the Dayton Air Show this weekend. The weather was rainy, with high winds and low visibility on the ground.

The Air Force Thunderbirds are one of the world’s premier aerial demonstration teams. They use the F-16D Fighting Falcon to perform aerial acrobatics and formation flying at air shows across the world.


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