USAF Blames Pilot Error For Dayton Air Show Crash

Nov 4, 2017

U.S. Air Force Captain Erik Gonsalves

The U.S. Air Force says a Thunderbirds pilot was going too fast and without enough stopping distance when he landed on a wet runway at the Dayton airport last June, causing a crash that destroyed an F-16D jet during practice for the Dayton air show.

The pilot, Captain Erik Gonsalves, and a crew member, Technical Sergeant Kenneth Cordova,  were treated at a hospital after their plane ran off the runway and flipped over. An Air Force report released Friday states the pilot sustained multiple injuries, but no details were released. The report also cites failure to follow procedures. The demonstration team canceled their scheduled appearances at the two-day air show, and organizers said attendance fell.