Air Force fires Thunderbirds commander
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The Air Force has fired the leader of the Thunderbirds flight demonstration team that experienced a crash at an Ohio airshow.
Air Force officials said Wednesday Lt. Col. Jason Heard’s firing was unrelated to the June mishap in Dayton that destroyed a $29 million fighter jet.
The Air Force says his commanding officer “lost confidence in his leadership and risk management style.”
Heard’s commanding officer says it was a difficult decision, but ultimately one that is in the best interests of the team. His removal was effective Nov. 20.
Heard was overseeing the unit when an F-16D jet ran off the runway and flipped over at Dayton International Airport June 23. Officials say excessive speed and landing without enough stopping distance led to the crash.