DAYTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Ohio (WDTN) – The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Team has landed at the Dayton International Airport for this weekend’s Dayton Air Show.
The Thunderbirds are the headliner Saturday and Sunday at the Air Show.
The pilots say they are ready to show the Miami Valley what they can do.
“What you’re doing to see is the pride and precision of the Thunderbird team,” Thunderbird 4 slot pilot Maj. Michael Brewer said.
One of the pilots is from the Miami Valley. Major Kyle Oliver is from Dayton and graduated from Beavercreek High School in 2006. Oliver is opposing solo for Thunderbird 6.
“It’s going to be an absolutely incredible weekend to spend that with friends and family, to be able to show them, again, what I do, show them what the Air Force does,” Oliver said.
Oliver said that attending the Air Show in 2005 confirmed his desire to join the Air Force.
“I saw the team fly that day and that was kind of the turning point where I said being a fighter pilot isn’t some phase I’m going to grow out of, that’s something I want to go do, I want to go dedicate myself to,” Oliver said.
Most of the pilots have at least seven years of experience flying fighter jets.
The team requires more experience, though, it also takes a lot of trust.
“There’s a lot that goes into this team, trust is really the cornerstone of all of that because if I don’t trust boss to not hit the ground, then I’m not going to do very well at my job,” Brewer said.
These pilots said the role is an honor, and one of the biggest rewards is inspiring kids that they can do the same.
“I think it’s important that kids see someone that looks like them doing something that they might view as hard or as impossible because that really shows them that it’s not an unattainable dream,” Thunderbird 5 lead solo Maj. Michelle Curran said.
The thunderbirds will conclude the feature show, which starts at noon. Air Show organizers said the Thunderbirds will perform around 3 p.m.
Gates open at the Dayton Air Show at 9 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.