VANDALIA — When Scott Buchanan hosts his first Vectren Dayton Air Show as chairman of the board this week, it will be one of the highest points of a life loving aviation.
Buchanan, who lives in Vandalia, was elected chairman of the United States Air And Trade Show, Inc., last fall and succeeded Michael Emoff who served as chairman from 2005-17. USATS is the entity that produces the air show each summer.
Buchanan credits his grandfather for sparking his love of aviation.
“My grandfather was big into airplanes, and he used to take us to the airport to watch planes take off and land,” Buchanan said. “I went to the air show as a kid, so I’ve been around it a lot. My brother is a pilot, so I guess you can say its in our blood.”
After graduating from Stebbins High School, Buchanan graduated from Wright State University after a stint in the Air National Guard. He is currently the CEO of the Ohio Masonic Home in Springfield.
As chairman of the board, he oversees and organization that deploys more than 2,000 volunteers as well as a small paid staff to produce what is widely regarded as one of the top air shows in North America each year.
Buchanan said he is proud to give is time and talents to the air show.
“The air show wouldn’t happen without those volunteers. They know as I do that the air show is something bigger than us,” he said. “It’s been going on almost as long as I’ve been alive. It has a significant economic impact on the region, and it’s a great family event. I get the biggest joy out of seeing the faces on kids at the SOAR program or seeing a dad with his son or daughter on his shoulders. Dayton is the birthplace of aviation, and that’s something to celebrate.”
Another key aspect is corporate sponsorship, which includes Vectren, Kroger, GE Aviation, UTC Aerospace, Premier Health, Canon Midwest Photo, Sinclair Community College, Kettering Health Network, PSA Airlines, Miami Valley Gaming, Dayton International Airport and the City of Dayton.
“We are very fortunate to have the sponsorship structure that we have because a lot of shows don’t have that,” he said. “Putting on a show of this quality is not an inexpensive endeavor. That’s the community stepping up to make sure that this air show has continued without interruption for so many years.”
The 44th Vectren Dayton Air Show will be held Saturday and Sunday at Dayton International Airport. Gates open at 9 a.m. each day with the feature show beginning at noon and ending around 4:15 p.m.
There will be 13 acts performing in the sky culminating in the first appearance by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels since 2014. More than 50 aircraft will be on static display including a B-52 bomber, the Movie Memphis Belle B-17, a Tuskegee Airmen P-51, the Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 and the Orbis MD-10.
For Buchanan, the air show still takes him back to when he was a child watching planes takeoff and land — a time that sparked his life-long love of aviation.
“The awe never goes away.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.