DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - 23,000 people came to see the 39th Vectren Dayton Air Show, according to General Manager Brenda Kerfoot. That's about 24,000 less than last year when 47,000 showed up..
She believes it's because of federal sequestration.
The air show's headline performer, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, was grounded as part of those budget cuts .
"We have done shows in the past where we had military but no jet team and, in those years, we would expect about a thirty percent decline in attendance, so we were really guessing as to how this would impact zero military," says Kerfoot.
On Saturday, wing-walker Jane Wicker and her pilot Charles Schwenker were killed in an accident just before 1 P.M.
Officials canceled the show for the rest of the day. Ticket holders were invited back for Sunday's performances.
Kerfoot doesn't believe the deadly plane crash impacted attendance. She says it was split evenly among the two days.
"A lot of the ticket holders from Saturday came back and sat in our reserved seating. From some of the reports, a lot of them felt like they wanted to leave on a positive note, that they loved aviation, that they knew the performers were being very brave and professional to go on and they wanted to be apart of the show," comments Kerfoot.
This isn't the first deadly plane crash at the air show. Pilot Jim LeRoy was killed in 2007.
Kerfoot says that fatal accident didn't effect the following year's attendance and she expects that to be the case next year.
"We did not see that in the prior crash and I think of the events overall, again don't see that happening. I think that people realize that the rules are in place, they don't feel like they are ever in danger when they're at an air show," explains Kerfoot.
The 2014 air show is tentatively scheduled for June 28th and 29th.
A spokesperson for Vectren tells 2 NEWS that the company signed a three-year contract with the air show and still have two years left on the deal.
Despite the low attendance this year, she says the company is still very committed to the air show and believes it's a worthwhile event.
Forget the slippery roads and inches of snow on the ground, it's the perfect time to propose marriage. At least that is how Levi Minor felt Friday night.
Snowfall reports vary across the Miami Valley as the storm continues to produce heavy snow, making it hard for drivers to see in some cases.
The National Weather Service canceled the Winter Storm Warning and Winter Weather Advisory just after 9:30 pm.
Sinclair Community College is closing all campus locations for the day due to the inclement weather.