18 July 2005

Dayton Air Show -- July 2005

Went to the Dayton Air Show on Saturday ... took a whole gang, 7 of us (4 adults, 3 young boys). Unfortunately the weather in Dayton on Saturday wasn't the best for an air show...low clouds, intermittent rain. It was quite hot though, so the upside of the rain was it kept us cool. As we discovered, the cloud cover didn't filter enough UV to prevent most of us from getting decent sunburns. The weather also prevented the Golden Knights parachute team from jumping, and also stopped the F/A-22 flyby.

As for what we did see...the USAF Thunderbirds were spectactular even in the low ceiling. The F-15s were a lot of fun too, especially for the boys. They had a couple very good aerobatics shows, too; the Oracle-sponsored Sean Tucker as well as Jim Leroy. We also had very nice visits with the static displays of the F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter (they had guards and wouldn't let you get too close); the Glacier Girl P-38 (the one recovered from the Greenland ice cap) ; and the boys got to "pilot" the static Canadian CH-146 Griffon helicopter.

I was very disappointed with the administration of the event. Parking was horrible; we paid $7 so that the teenage boys who were supposed to be guiding us to parking spaces could ignore us while they spent time throwing rocks at each other; and on the way out the parking attendants had already left so that leaving the parking area was chaos. Food was likewise abominable. The pretzel vendors actually did not know how to operate the pretzel oven, and the sno cone vendor was as far as I can tell running a con game. His "syrup" contained only food dye and water ... no sugar! Saves money that way to be sure...my 6-year old declared the sno cone inedible and didn't take more than 1 bite. Next year, Vectren Dayton Air Show really needs to get their act together with running the parking and concessions more professionally. In comparison to the military folks and serious hobbyists/civilian professionals running the airplanes, the concessions and parking were abysmal.

But overall, a very fun day nonetheless. Here's what sums up the show...our 13-month old boy learned a new word on Saturday. "Airplane!"