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Crowds way down at Dayton air show

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The lack of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet team likely led to much smaller crowds than usual at the Vectren Dayton Air Show last weekend — which also was marred by a fiery crash on opening day.

Air show manager Brenda Kerfoot tells The Dayton Daily News ( ) that the two-day event drew just 23,000 people. The show typically attracts about 70,000.

Kerfoot attributed it to the Thunderbirds and other military support pulling out because of federal budget cuts.

On Saturday a wing-walking stunt performer and her pilot were killed when their biplane went down in a fiery crash.

The show's largest crowd in recent years was 80,000 in 2009 when the Thunderbirds performed. Last year's crowd had dropped to 47,000 amid extreme heat.

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