Deadly crash at Dayton, Ohio air show

Monday, July 30, 2007

Jim LeRoy in his airplane "Bulldog", taxiing back after a performance at Airshow Chattanooga in October 2005.
Image: Philip Clifton.

Stunt pilot and Marine veteran Jim LeRoy, age 46, died on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at the Dayton Air Show in Ohio, United States, while performing in his signature S2S Bulldog Pitts aircraft, with his companion pilot in a stunt routine. The two planes executed a looping cross near to the ground, but while LeRoy's companion pulled up, LeRoy's Bulldog never did, hitting the ground and skidding to a stop, engulfed in flames.

After airport fire trucks put out the blaze, LeRoy was airlifted out of the crash site by a Black Hawk helicopter, which had been on medical standby for the show. After the crash, the air show's announcer (also a pastor) led the crowd in a prayer for Jim's survival and healing. LeRoy died while the helicopter was making its way to Miami Valley Hospital.

The portion of the show was just prior to when the Thunderbirds would have flown, who stepped down to allow airport security and the TSA and FAA to conduct their investigation. Videos of the crash were requested by the agencies. The show was then closed for the day, to allow the investigation to continue, and airport police stood by to "remove cars as fast as possible."