Inquiry blames speed, wet runway for Thunderbirds crash


DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — 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, causing a crash that destroyed a $29 million F-16D jet during practice for the Dayton air show in Ohio.

The pilot and crew member were treated at a hospital June 23 after their plane ran off the runway and flipped over at Dayton International Airport. An Air Force report released Friday states that the pilot suffered multiple injuries, but no details were released.

The report also cites failure to follow procedures.

The Thunderbirds air demonstration team canceled their scheduled appearances at the two-day air show, and organizers said attendance fell.

The Thunderbirds are assigned to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.