Janet Bednarek, a professor of history at the University of Dayton, specializes in airports—and in the idea of the airport as a hub for economic growth. She thinks airports bring a lot of potential, but there are also limitations; ultimately, she says, corporations decide where they want to go, and an “if you build it, they will come” approach can backfire.
“Dayton has always tried to capitalize on the fact that we’re at the intersection of two major interstates,” says Bednarek. “It just seems like the ability to capitalize on that hasn’t seemed to happen yet.”
Earlier this summer, a pilot named Charlie Schwenker and a wing-walker named Jane Wicker were killed at the Vectren Air Show in Dayton, a tragedy in the midst of an event laden with history. Air Shows as public events began more than 100 years ago. WYSO's aviation commentator Dan Patterson loves that colorful history full of spectacle and heroism.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol - pilot error was the cause of a crash at the Vectren Dayton Air Show last month. Killed in the June 22nd accident were the plane’s owner, 44 year-old Jane Wicker – who was performing a wing walking stunt at the time - and the pilot 64 year-old Charlie Schwenker.
The report cites slow speed and a lack of lift, causing the plane to stall and then crash before thousands of spectators. Lt. Anne Ralston says the Patrol’s report is based on eye-witness accounts, video, and measurements taken at the crash site.