2015 Air Show delivers thrills

A parachutist with the U.S. Army Golden Knights delivers the American flag during opening ceremonies at the Vectren Dayton Air Show on Sunday.

The Breitling Jet Team and Air Force Thunderbirds roared over the skies of Vandalia.

The Breitling Jet Team and Air Force Thunderbirds roared over the skies of Vandalia.

VANDALIA — After a Saturday that saw steady rain, delayed and cancelled acts, and bad headlines due to muddy parking lots, organizers of the Vectren Dayton Air Show breathed a sigh of relief on Sunday as the cooperation of Mother Nature allowed for a memorable show.

Spectators basked in sunlight for the first time in days as they were thrilled by the thunderous roars of a US Navy F-18 Hornet, the daredevil stunts of Sean D. Tucker, and the Jet Waco, a jet-powered biplane.

The highlights of the show were the two jet teams – a first in the show’s history.

First up was the Breitling Jet Team who are making their North American debut this summer. The team consists of seven L-39C Albatros aircraft which makes the team the largest aerobatic team in the world.

The show was capped off by the US Air Force Thunderbirds who were making their first appearance in Dayton since 2011.

Show officials announced that attendance at this year’s show was an estimated 40,000 – down from last year’s 65,000. Officials were pleased with the attendance, however, given the rainy week leading up to the show and predictions for significant rain on Saturday.

Those predictions proved true as rain hovered over the Dayton International Airport until early afternoon.

“We are pleased with the number of people that attended despite the rain,” stated Michael Emoff, Chairman of the United States Air & Trade Show Board of Trustees, producers of the event. “Our thanks to the fans, volunteers and sponsors for their support of the show year after year.”

Show officials apologized to those in attendance during Sunday’s show for parking problems in the grass fields traditionally used for parking. 88 cars had to be towed from the lots after becoming mired in the mud – an expense bore by the show.

Parking was moved to paved lots at Delphi and the former Emery Freight Building on Old Springfield Road.

Plans are already underway for the 2016 show which will feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels on June 18-19, 2016. Later this year other 2016 feature attractions will be announced. Visit daytonairshow.com for updates and further information.