Dayton Air Show To Introduce New Management Team

May 2, 2022

May 2—After nearly two decades, Terry Grevious has left the CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show, Grevious said Monday.

Kevin Franklin, president of Wright Brothers Aero Inc. at Dayton International Airport, has taken over that role. The United States Air and Trade Show board plans an announcement Wednesday to introduce him.

"The show is in good hands," Grevious, a resident of North Muskegon Mich., said in an interview.

Grevious, now working as a consultant, joined the air show in late 2003, leading the summertime event through good times, challenging times, a global pandemic and a few aviation accidents. His contract with the show expired at the end of September last year.

"Most of the memories are very positive," he said. "There's a lot of support in the community for the show."

Franklin took over as executive director in October. He remains Wright Brothers Aero president, and he has been with that company for 34 years. The company handles refueling at the airport, for the airlines and for private aircraft as well. The company also performs maintenance, air cargo services and more.

The company has been supporting the air show for 40-plus years, he said.

"We think the air show is in a great place," Franklin said.

He noted that he and his company are local.

"That is a distinct advantage," he said.

Grevious, a member of the International Council of Air Shows Foundation Air Show Hall of Fame, helped navigate the show through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic forced the cancellation of the summer 2020 show.

In 2021, there was uncertainty about how to proceed. "We looked at the drive-in (show) model for a period of time," Grevious recalled. "We were trying to figure out some way to run a program that would meet federal-state requirements."

Initially in the spring of 2021, air show leaders considered a format that would have show-goers sit in socially-distanced, parked vehicles, forgoing the usual crowds of wandering spectators enjoying more than 50 "static" airplanes parked on 120 acres, with aerobatics thousands of feet above the tarmac.

Then, in a surprise move, the show restored the classic format as health orders and masks mandates lifted at the time across Ohio.

"We slept on it for a couple of nights, and we said, 'You know, we can do it,'" Grevious said in July last year.

His memories are mostly good ones. But there were difficult days.

An F-16 Thunderbird jet skidded off the runway and flipped on its top in the 2017 show. A stunt pilot and a wing-walking performer were killed in another crash there, in 2013.

In 2007, aerobatic pilot Jim LeRoy was unable to maintain clearance from the ground during an acrobatics routine and crashed his 400-horsepower, single-seat biplane.

"It was very well established," Grevious said of the show overall. " Dayton has always had a good reputation as an air show. It has been very well thought of in the industry. It was really nice to be part of that. So I have just a lot of memories, just a lot of great times there."

This year's show is slated for July 30-31 at Dayton International.


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