6 killed in collision between World War II planes at Wings Over Dallas air show

Two World War II planes collided during a flyover at a memorial event in Texas on Saturday, crashing to the ground and bursting into a ball of flame that shocked and appalled onlookers.

Six people were on board the two planes at the time of the crash, Commemorative Air Force said, and all six were killed, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra were participating in the Air Force’s Wings Over Dallas air show when they collided midair near Dallas Executive Airport just before 1:30 p.m. local, the Federal Aviation Administration said. .

Several videos posted on Twitter showed the fighter jet appearing to fly into the bomber, rapidly dropping it to the ground and unleashing a large ball of fire and smoke.

Dallas air show crash
In this photo provided by Nathaniel Ross Photography, a historic military aircraft crashes after colliding with another aircraft during an air show at Dallas Executive Airport in Dallas on Saturday, November 12, 2022.

Nathaniel Ross Photography via AP

According to the event’s website, several planes were scheduled to perform a flyover demonstration on Saturday afternoon. Social media posts showed hundreds of people gathered to watch the flyby. The 3-day event is in honor of Veterans Day, which was Friday.

Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide.

“I just stood there. I was completely shocked and in disbelief,” said Montoya, 27, who attended the air show with a friend. “Everyone around was panting. Everyone was bursting into tears. Everyone was in shock.”

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson called it is a “terrible tragedy”.

“The videos are heartbreaking,” he said. tweeted. “Please say a prayer for the souls who have taken to heaven to entertain and educate our families today.”

The mayor of Keller, Texas, a small town about 30 miles north of Dallas, said in a Facebook post that a former councilman, Terry Barker, was among those who died. Mayor Armin Mizani wrote that Barker was a husband, father, and army veteran.

“Terry Barker was loved by many. He was a friend and someone whose advice I often sought. Even after retiring from City Council and flying for American Airlines, his love for the community was undeniable,” wrote Mizani.

The B-17, a huge four-engined bomber, was a cornerstone of American air power during World War II. The Kingcobra, an American fighter aircraft, was used primarily by Soviet forces during the war. Most B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II and only a handful remain today, widely displayed in museums and air shows, according to Boeing.

Two planes collided and crashed during the Air Force’s Wings Over Dallas event on Saturday, November 12, 2022.

Agnes Calca

No paying customers were on the plane, said Coates of Commemorative Air Force, which also owned the planes. Their planes are flown by highly trained volunteers, often retired pilots, he said.

Victoria Yeager, the widow of famed Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager and a pilot herself, was also present at the show. She did not see the collision, but did see the burning wreckage.

“He was pulverized,” said Yeager, 64, who lives in Fort Worth.

“We just hoped they were all out, but we knew they weren’t,” she said of those on board.

“It was really horrible to see,” Aubrey Anne Young, 37, of Leander. Texas, who saw the crash. His children were inside the shed with their father when it happened. “I’m still trying to make sense of it.”

A woman next to Young can be heard crying and screaming hysterically in a video Young uploaded to her Facebook page.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation.

Airshow safety – especially with older military aircraft – has been a concern for years. In 2011, 11 people were killed in Reno, Nevada, when a P-51 Mustang crashed into onlookers. In 2019, a bomber crashed in Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven people. The NTSB then said it had investigated 21 crashes since 1982 involving World War II bombers, resulting in the deaths of 23 people.

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