F-16 Thunderbird crashes at Ohio airport; 2 taken to hopsital

DAYTON, OH (AP/WDTN) — A Thunderbirds Air Force jet went off a runway while preparing for an Ohio air show, and authorities say the jet’s two occupants have been taken to a hospital.

Capt. Erik Gonsalves
Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cordova

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office received a report around 12:30 p.m. Friday of a jet off the end of a runway and on its top at the Dayton International Airport. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base dispatched crash and rescue crews.

Commander Lt. Col Jason Heard, said the pilot, Capt. Erik Gonsalves suffered some cuts and injuries to his leg but the injuries are non-life threatening. Capt. Gonsalves has approximately 1,600 hours of flight time.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds posted information on their Facebook page. In the post, they say the F-16D suffered damage and the pilot and a passenger, a tactical aircraft maintainer, are receiving care and are in good condition.

“Our first priority is taking care of our Thunderbird teammates and ensuring future safety,” said Heard.

A Thunderbirds statement said the F-16D Fighting Falcon was conducting a “single-ship familiarization” when it had the “mishap.” The Thunderbirds say more information will be released when available.

The Thunderbirds will not fly Saturday, according to WDTN.

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