DAYTON, Ohio — Summertime fun is about to take flight. This weekend, thousands of spectators will travel to the Miami Valley for the Dayton Air Show, headlined by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. 

What You Need To Know

  • Blue Angels Slot Pilot Frank Zastoupil details his role in the Dayton Air Show and what it’s like to be a member of the Blue Angels

  • Zastoupil was inspired to become a Blue Angel when he was 4-years-old after seeing them perform in Texas 

  • Organizers are expecting the best attendance since the start of the pandemic

  • The Dayton Air Show will feature many top military and civilian aircraft beginning July 30 at 9 a.m


The Blue Angels have landed in Dayton. The iconic U.S. Navy Flight demonstration squadron is headlining the 47th installation of the Dayton Air Show, a privilege that Slot Pilot Maj. Frank Zastoupil, USMC, doesn’t take for granted. 

“We’re extremely excited to be here in Dayton, Ohio—kind of the birthplace of aviation right here,” Zastoupil said. 

Zastoupil is in his third year flying with the Blue Angels, something that called to him as a young boy in Texas. 

“I did have a dream when I was 4-years-old when I did see the Blue Angels fly for the first time in Fort Worth, Texas,” Zastoupil said. “That kind of sparked my interest.”

He also said that he was influenced by the movie "Top Gun’" when he was a kid, something that is happening again with the release of "Top Gun: Maverick." Zastoupil said it’s been a great recruiting tool, sparking lots of interest in young people. 

The Blue Angels will excite crowds this weekend with their unique formations. His favorite maneuver is the low break cross.

“We get a little bit of formation flying. We get a little bit of separation going in different directions, a little bit of crossing maneuvers, and a very, very tight hits is what we call it,” Zastoupil said. “With that separation between the two jets out, it added some distance and we'll bring it back in and rejoin the diamond as fast as we possibly can. So it's the combination of everything that we do wrapped up into about 2 minutes.” 

United States Air and Trade Show Chair Scott Buchanan expects a great turnout as the show returns to full scale. 

“Last year, we were happy to have a show,” Buchanan said. “We had a little bit of cloud cover and rain. This year looks like it’s going to be like it is today. So we're very excited to have a ceiling and let these guys put their high show on.” 

Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims Jr. is looking forward to the excitement that the Air Show brings each year. 

“We have so much to offer here in Dayton,” Mims Jr. said. “Come on out, have some fun, bring your friends and family, and bring some enemies if you have some. They’ll be friends by the time you leave. Just take advantage of so much of the great food and so many great people with big smiles on the faces.”

Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims Jr. (Tino Bovenzi/Spectrum News 1)

The Air Force F-16 Viper Demo team, the Army Golden Knights, and Tora! Tora! Tora! will also be among the many performers. A full list can be found here

Zastoupil said he’s excited to perform, but also to meet some of the fans. 

“It’s incredible to see all the different cities around the nation,” he said. “And be able to effect and inspire the next generation of Naval aviators or just the next culture of excellence across the world.” 

The Dayton Air Show gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday and tickets can be found for as low as $22 at Kroger. General Admission parking is $15 at the gate. More details can be found on the Dayton Air Show website