This past Saturday I attended the Vectren Dayton Airshow with my Dad and my son. This is becoming a bit of a yearly tradition with us, since Dayton is about an equal drive for all of us (my son and I live in New York, my Dad lives in Missouri.)
The biggest danger, as any airshow fan knows, in planning an airshow is the weather. You can only get a really accurate forecast about 5 days out and since we planned this in January we knew we were taking a gamble and, with the forecast calling for clouds and maybe thunderstorms on Saturday, it was a gamble that we almost lost. The ominous gray clouds looming on the horizon only gave a couple of periods of light sprinkles before the clouds broke up enough to allow The Blue Angels to fly a spectacular high show to top of the day.
The show itself was great, save for the lackluster selection of static displays. While the Department Of Defense is allowing for military airshow participation, static displays aren’t permitted unless they’re “local assets”, meaning if a show is being held on a base the base can choose to display aircraft that are stationed there. As this show was held at an airport there was only a USMC AV-8 Harrier brought as a backup for the Harrier Demo pilot for active military aircraft.
For performers, the only military acts were a US Coast Guard search-and-rescue demo, the USAF Wings of Blue Parachute Team, a USMC AV-8 Harrier Demo and, of course, The Blue Angels. The show also featured a P-51D demo, an F4U-5 Corsair demo, an F-86 demo, a Wright Flyer B replica demo, Patty Wagstaff, Sean D. Tucker, the Shockwave Jet Truck and Team Aeroshell.
Below are some of my pictures from the show. When Sean Tucker flew I just put my camera down and watched and, as The Blue Angels flew, it seemed to get progressively more hazy, probably because of the heat and the smoke hanging around, so I really didn’t get any workable shots of the Delta.
All in all, the Vectren Dayton Airshow is an outstanding show I would whole-heartedly recommend you attend. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. A personal highlight for me was about two hours before the flying started when my Dad, who is a former Marine, told me to put down my camera and said that my son was going to watch our cameras and told me “It’s time you became familiar with helicopter flight” and paid for me to take a 10 minute ride in a Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter.
It. Was. Incredible.