DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Several elite aviators visited the ‘birthplace of aviation’ Monday, months before their much-anticipated performance in the 44th Vectren Dayton Air Show.
Navy Blue Angels Lieutenants Dave Steppe and Andre Webb touched down in one of the signature blue and yellow F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets at the Dayton Airport for a site visit. The Blue Angels are headlining the air show this June.
“We’re excited to be back. Clearly the weather wants us back as well. It’s great here today,” Lt. Steppe commented on the blue skies and warmer than average temperatures.
The Blue Angels have been thrilling audiences for more than 60 years.
They last performed in Dayton in 2014, cancelling their scheduled 2016 air show performance after a fatal crash in Tennessee.
In 2017, the headlining Thunderbirds also cancelled their appearance when two airmen flipped on a slick runway during practice.
The Blue Angels say they thoroughly evaluate any aviation incidents to prevent future errors.
“I think that all of the aviation demonstration teams kind of take things and move forward and try not to make the mistakes… that have been made before. So obviously there’s something to be learned,” said Lt. Webb.
Before the 44th Dayton Air Show, Blue Angel pilots are practicing two to three times a day, six days a week.
Maintenance crews also check the aircrafts daily.
The airmen say site visits, like the one to Dayton Monday, are another precaution for safe flying conditions.
“We’re just trying to get that perfect air show. That’s what we always strive for; perfection,” said Lt. Steppe. “That’s what crowds can expect.”
60 members of the Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron will be in Dayton for the air show June 23rd and 24th.
You can find more information about the Blue Angels here.
You can find more about the 2018 Vectren Dayton Air Show here.