Thousands of volunteers work to ensure air show goes off without a hitch


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – This weekend’s Vectren Dayton Air Show took months of planning and thousands of volunteers to ensure the event is a success.

Officials say more than two thousand volunteers from all over the country come together to make sure the event goes off without a hitch.

Heidi Tigchelaar, who’s in charge of the air show’s crew center said the event is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.

“We have over 2,000 volunteers who are on the ground during the show,” she said.

“Anything from air ops, ground ops, maintenance, tent set up, media, hospitality… ice and water distribution – that’s just to name a few off the top of my head.”

Everything from getting the planes and performers to the airshow to securing food vendors and security all falls in the hands of volunteers.

The event’s coordinator Chris Eberly said planning occurs months in advance.

“After the show I probably have a couple months off and then we’re already into making contacts and planning for next year’s show, so for me it’s gotten to the point of almost year round,”

The US Air Force Thunderbirds are headlining this year’s show which will also feature an all-woman skydiving team, war re-enactments and demonstrations, and sky-typers who create smoke messages.

The volunteers say it takes a lot of work to make the air show happen, but the long hours have turned the volunteers into tight knit community.

Tigchelaar said: “Everyone got a can-do attitude and a let’s-get-it-done, let’s do it professionally, and let’s also have a ton of fun. So that’s why I’m here because it is so much fun.”

Elberly added: “There’s so many people here that’s I’ve been working with for a long period of time and it’s gotten to be – it’s like a close family.”

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