Tuesday, November 29, 2022
No menu items!
HomeNEWSVintage military aircraft collide mid-air at Dallas air show

Vintage military aircraft collide mid-air at Dallas air show

A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed at the Wings Over Dallas airshow around 1:20 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Authorities responded to the incident at Dallas Executive Airport, Jason Evans with Dallas Fire-Rescue told CNN on Saturday.

The number of casualties in the crash was still not confirmed later on Saturday afternoon, according to Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.

However, the Allied Pilots Association, the labor union representing American Airlines pilots, identified two pilot retirees and former union members among those killed in the collision.

Former members Terry Barker and Len Root were among the crew members on the B-17 Flying Fortress during the Wings Over Dallas airshow, the APA said in a tweet. The APA is also offering professional counseling services at their headquarters in Fort Worth following the incident.

“Our hearts go out to their families, friends, and colleagues past and present,” their tweet said.

There were more than 40 fire rescue units on scene after the collision, the agency’s active incidents page shows.

In a Saturday afternoon news conference, Hank Coates, president and CEO of the Commemorative Air Force, told reporters the B-17 “normally has a crew of four to five. That was what was on the aircraft,” while the P-63 is a “single-piloted fighter type aircraft.”

“I can tell you that it was normally crewed,” Coates said. “I cannot release the number of people in the manifest or the names on the manifest until I’m released to do so by the NTSB.”

“I can tell you that it was normally crewed,” Coates said. “I cannot release the number of people in the manifest or the names on the manifest until I’m released to do so by the NTSB.”

“Currently we do not have information on the status of the flight crews as emergency responders are working the accident,” a statement from the group said, adding it is working with local authorities and the FAA.

The FAA is currently leading the investigation, which is set to be turned over to the NTSB at approximately 9 p.m. when the NTSB team arrives at the scene, Coates said.

On Saturday evening, the NTSB said it is launching a go-team to investigate the collision. The team is expected to arrive on Sunday, the NTSB said in a tweet.

“Member Michael Graham will serve as spokesperson on scene,” the tweet added.

“The maneuvers that they [the aircraft] were going through were not dynamic at all,” Coates noted. “It was what we call ‘Bombers on Parade’.”

Johnson tweeted later on Saturday no spectators or others on the ground were reported injured, although the debris field from the collision includes the Dallas Executive Airport grounds, Highway 67, and a nearby strip mall.

The event, which was scheduled to run through Sunday, has been canceled, according to the organizer’s website.

Johnson said in a tweet after the crash, “As many of you have now seen, we have had a terrible tragedy in our city today during an airshow. Many details remain unknown or unconfirmed at this time.”

“The videos are heartbreaking. Please, say a prayer for the souls who took to the sky to entertain and educate our families today,” Johnson said in a separate tweet.

Southbound and northbound lanes of the highway were shut down after the incident, the Dallas Police Department said.

“This is not about the aircraft. It’s just not,” Coates said during the news conference. “I can tell you the aircraft are great aircraft, they’re safe. They’re very well-maintained. The pilots are very well-trained. So it’s difficult for me to talk about it, because I know all these people, these are family, and they’re good friends.”

According to Coates, the individuals flying the aircraft in CAF airshows are volunteers and have a strict process of training. Many of them are airline pilots, retired airline pilots, or retired military pilots, Coates said.

Rare vintage aircraft destroyed
The B-17 was part of the collection of the Commemorative Air Force, nicknamed “Texas Raiders,” and had been hangered in Conroe, Texas near Houston. It was one of about 45 complete surviving examples of the model, only nine of which were airworthy.

The P-63 was even rarer. Some 14 examples are known to survive, four of which in the United States were airworthy, including one owned by the Commemorative Air Force.

More than 12,000 B-17s were produced by Boeing, Douglas Aircraft and Lockheed between 1936 and 1945, with nearly 5,000 lost during the war, and most of the rest scrapped by the early 1960s. About 3,300 P-63’s were produced by Bell Aircraft between 1943 and 1945, and were principally used by the Soviet Air Force in World War II.

 

Two historic military planes collide and crash during an air show in Dallas

DALLAS — Two historic military aircraft collided and crashed Saturday during an air show in Dallas, exploding into a ball of flames and sending black smoke billowing into the sky. It was not clear how many people were on board.

Emergency crews raced to the crash scene at the Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles from the city’s downtown. News footage from the scene showed crumpled wreckage of the planes in a grassy area inside the airport perimeter. Dallas Fire-Rescue told The Dallas Morning News that there were no reported injuries among people on the ground.

Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide.

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

Officials would not say how many people were on board the planes, but Hank Coates, president of the company that put on the airshow, said one of the planes, a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, typically has a crew of four to five people. The other, a P-63 Kingcobra fighter plane, has a single pilot.

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

A team of National Transportation Safety Board investigators will arrive at the scene of the crash on Sunday.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the NTSB had taken control of the crash scene, with local police and fire providing support.

“The videos are heartbreaking,” Johnson said on Twitter.

The planes collided and crashed around 1:20 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The collision occurred during the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas show.

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

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

https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136308
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136318
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/137736
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136834
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136207
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/137751
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/137985
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/137990
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136854
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136232
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/138020
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136869
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/138025
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136889
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136267

“We were just hoping they had all gotten out, but we knew they didn’t,” she said of those on board.

The B-17, a cornerstone of U.S. air power during World War II, is an immense four-engine bomber used in daylight raids against Germany. The Kingcobra, a U.S. fighter plane, was used mostly by Soviet forces during the war. Most B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II and only a handful remain today, largely featured at museums and air shows, according to Boeing.

Several videos posted on social media showed the fighter plane appearing to fly into the bomber, causing them to quickly crash to the ground and setting off a large ball of fire and smoke.

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

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

Air show safety — particularly 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 spectators. In 2019, a bomber crashed in Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven people. The NTSB said then that it had investigated 21 accidents since 1982 involving World War II-era bombers, resulting in 23 deaths.

Wings Over Dallas bills itself as “America’s Premier World War II Airshow,” according to a website advertising the event. The show was scheduled for Nov. 11-13, Veterans Day weekend, and guests were to see more than 40 World War II-era aircraft. Its Saturday afternoon schedule of flying demonstrations included the “bomber parade” and “fighter escorts” that featured the B-17 and P-63.

Videos of previous Wings Over Dallas events depict vintage warplanes flying low, sometimes in close formation, on simulated strafing or bombing runs. The videos also show the planes performing aerobatic stunts.

The FAA was also launching an investigation, officials said.

 

‘Shock and disbelief’: World War II bomber, smaller plane collide and crash at Dallas air show

Two World War II-era planes crashed to the ground in Texas after colliding Saturday while flying over a Dallas air show, federal authorities confirmed.

Bystander videos of the incident posted online appear to show a small fighter plane clipping a slower-flying B-17 bomber at the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas show. The collision caused an explosion as planes fell to the ground, sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky.

It is unknown how many people were on the aircraft, according to a Federal Aviation Administration statement. It’s also unclear if anyone on the ground was hurt.

“Currently we do not have information on the status of the flight crews as emergency responders are working the accident,” Leah Block, vice president of marketing for Commemorative Air Force, told USA TODAY in an emailed statement.

Emergency crews raced to the crash scene at the Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles from the city’s downtown.

Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide.

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

Live TV news footage from the scene showed crumpled wreckage of the bomber in a grassy area.

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a renown World War II bomber, and the Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed around 1:20 p.m. Saturday. Both aircraft flew out of Houston, according to a statement from Block.

https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/138045
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136368
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136287
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/138075
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136383
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/137841
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136302
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136327
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/138130
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136403
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136342
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/137861
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136423
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/137866
https://new.c.mi.com/ph/post/136964

The B-17, an immense four-engine bomber, was a cornerstone of U.S. air power during World War II. The Kingcobra, a U.S. fighter plane, was used mostly by Soviet forces during the war. Most B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II and only a handful remain today, largely featured at museums and air shows, according to Boeing.

Wings Over Dallas bills itself as “America’s Premier World War II Airshow,” according to a website advertising the event. The show was scheduled for Nov. 11-13, Veterans Day weekend, and guests were to see more than 40 World War II-era aircraft.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were launching investigations.

Contributing: The Associated Press.

 

Two planes collide in fiery mid-flight crash during World War II air show in Dallas

As many as six people could have been on the two aircraft, a show official said. The crash occurred at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow on Saturday afternoon.

As many as six people may have been on two World War II-era planes that collided while flying in a Dallas air show on Saturday, according to an organizer.

The crash occurred around 1:20 p.m., when the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow at Dallas Executive Airport, according to information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“At this time, it is unknown how many people were on both aircraft,” the FAA said in a statement.

The Allied Pilots Association, the American Airlines pilots’ union, said on Twitter that two of its former members, Terry Barker and Len Root, were on board the B-17 and had died.

Authorities have not confirmed any deaths.

There were no reports of injuries on the ground, but Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the collision’s debris field includes parts of Executive Airport grounds, Highway 67, and a nearby strip mall.

Hank Coates, CEO and president of Commemorative Air Force, the organization behind the show, said a total of six people could have been on the two aircraft.

The B-17 would normally have a crew of four or five, and the Kingcobra would just have a pilot, Coates said at a news conference Saturday evening.

No paying customers were on board the B-17, he said.

Because family needs to be notified of any possible fatalities, and because federal investigators have taken jurisdiction, Coates said he’s unable to make manifests or information about fatalities public.

Both planes were part of the nonprofit organization’s fleet of 180 aircraft used in its own air shows and those of other groups to demonstrate how the planes were used in World War II.

“This was a World War II flight-demonstration type of air show,” Coates said. “It’s very patriotic.”

There was about an hour left in the show when the collision occurred, he said.

He said the planes are meticulously maintained and the pilots are not only experienced — often from the worlds of passenger jets or military flight or both — but the CAF does its own vetting and preparation.

“There is a very strict process of vetting and training,” Coates said.

The show was the organization’s seventh year in Dallas, where at least 4,000 were on-hand Saturday, organizers said.

Johnson said the National Transportation Safety Board would take command of the scene and the investigation. Coates said the NTSB was expected to take command later Saturday night from the FAA.

“As many of you have now seen, we have had a terrible tragedy in our city today during an airshow,” Johnson said. “Many details remain unknown or unconfirmed at this time.”

Emergency crews raced to the crash scene at the Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles from the city’s downtown.

Videos of the scene showing the aftermath, captured by an onlooker, shows smoke and flames billowing above the crash site.

Photos from the scene, including one shared by NBC Dallas-Fort Worth, show a cloud of smoke over the crash site where the planes landed after colliding in the air.

Morgan Curry, who said he witnessed the crash from a nearby parking lot, told the station, “I honestly can’t believe that we witnessed that, like just standing here underneath it.”

“It’s like literally as you looked up you saw the big plane and then you saw one of the little planes split off from the three and then as soon as it split off it’s like they just collided into each other and the little plane split the big plane in half,” Curry said.

Anthony Montoya, 27, was at the air show with a friend and saw the two planes collide.

“I just stood there. I was in complete shock and disbelief,” Montoya said. “Everybody around was gasping. Everybody was bursting into tears. Everybody was in shock.”

The two planes involved in the collision didn’t see combat in World War II but weren’t replicas, the Commemorative Air Force said

The B-17, an immense four-engine bomber, was a cornerstone of U.S. air power during World War II. The Kingcobra, a U.S. fighter plane, was used mostly by Soviet forces during the war. Most B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II and only a handful remain today, largely featured at museums and air shows, according to Boeing.

Several videos posted on Twitter showed the fighter plane appearing to fly into the bomber, causing them to quickly crash to the ground and setting off a large ball of fire and smoke.

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

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

Air show safety — particularly 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 spectators. In 2019, a bomber crashed in Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven people. The National Transportation Safety Board said then that it had investigated 21 accidents since 1982 involving World War II-era bombers, resulting in 23 deaths.

Wings Over Dallas bills itself as “America’s Premier World War II Airshow,” according to a website advertising the event. The show was scheduled for Friday through Sunday, Veterans Day weekend, and guests were to see more than 40 World War II-era aircrafts. Sunday’s show has been canceled.

Organizer Coates said the maneuvers being carried out before the collision were not complicated. He called such an accident, “very rare.”

“This is not about the aircraft,” he said. “They’re safe, they’re very well maintained.”

The FAA said neither it nor the NTSB identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.

Coates said the number of those involved and their identities will be released after next-of-kin notification with the approval of the NTSB.

 

Coates said the number of those involved and their identities will be released after next-of-kin notification with the approval of the NTSB.

A midair crash at a Dallas air show sent two planes into nose-dives that ended in a fireball and killed an unspecified number of people aboard Saturday, authorities said.

“A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow at Dallas Executive Airport in Texas around 1:20 p.m. local time Saturday,” a Federal Aviation Administration statement said.

It was unclear how many people were aboard the two planes, and the FAA will assist the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the crash, the statement said.

Both planes were “normally crewed,” but the number and names of those aboard were not released Saturday evening, said Hank Coates, the chief executive of Wings Over Dallas organizer Commemorative Air Force (CAF). He said a B-17 aircraft usually has four or five crew members, and the P-63 is a single-pilot plane. There were no paying customers aboard during the collision.

Billed as the largest air show in North Texas, Wings Over Dallas was scheduled for Veterans Day weekend to give attendees a deeper look at World War II history through reenactments and flight demonstrations.

The pilots in the air show were volunteers who completed a strict training process, Coates added. Many air show volunteer pilots have a background in airline or military piloting, he said.

“These are very well-trained folks that have been doing it for a long time,” Coates said, adding that incidents such as Saturday’s are “extremely rare.”

CAF will not release information on the pilots until all officials involved in the investigation have agreed to do so and next of kin are notified, Coates said. No air show spectators or others on the ground were injured by the crash, said Jason Evans, spokesman for Dallas Fire-Rescue.

The B-17 was called the Texas Raiders, said CAF spokeswoman Leah Block. The aircraft was the first World War II-era Flying Fortress acquired for restoration and use as a flying museum, according to the CAF.

Videos showed one plane strike another midair with people on the ground gasping.

Anthony Montoya, 27, was at Wings Over Dallas with a friend when at about 1:45 p.m. a P-63 fighter plane clipped the back end of a B-17 bomber, breaking its back in half, he said. The front half of the B-17 nosedived into the ground, followed by the other aircraft.

“They hit the ground and burst into flames,” Montoya, who sat about 500 yards from the crash, told The Washington Post. “People were in shock. There were people crying, holding each other, visibly upset.”

Kris Truskey, 43, who was near the main terminal of the airport with her husband and son, said in a message to The Post that she saw the tail of the B-17 “get sliced off” before the nosedive and a “fireball.”

The crowd took a beat before realizing what had happened, said Mollie Brock, 25.

“We all saw it, but it took a second for everyone to think it was a crash.”

Brock and her husband sat about 100 feet from the runway during the show. A group of the P-63 planes had been escorting the B-17, she said, while fireworks simulating bombs blasted.

Brock told The Post that earlier that day, a woman working for the show had been advertising a chance to fly in the B-17 if they were willing to pay for the experience. Saturday’s seats were all booked, Brock recalled the woman saying, but there were still available seats for Sunday.

Paramedics rushed to the scene, Montoya and Truskey said, and about half an hour later the crowd was asked to leave the venue and the rest of the event was canceled.

“I just hope everybody involved is okay, and I pray for their family and their loved ones,” Montoya said. “We are all hoping for a miracle.”

He said it was “very windy.”

Debris from the collision and crash littered Dallas Executive Airport, Highway 67 and a strip mall, Evans said. The airport will remain closed during the investigation.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson (D) called the crash a “terrible tragedy.”

Other World War II and vintage planes have had deadly crashes over the years. In 2019, a B-17 Flying Fortress crashed at an airport in Connecticut, killing seven of the 13 people aboard. The plane had been brought to the Hartford-area Bradley International Airport with other vintage planes for a show.

In 2016, thousands of people saw a T-28 Trojan plane crash during an air show in Alberta, Canada, killing its pilot, according to Global News.

The Texas Raiders was one of five flying B-17s, the CAF said.

In their World War II heyday, according to Boeing, B-17 bombers could accommodate two pilots and eight crew members. About 12,000 were made, and “only a few B-17s survive today, featured at museums and air shows; most were scrapped at the end of the war.”

This was the seventh Wings Over Dallas, Coates said, and it aimed to highlight World War II aircraft and their capabilities.

The show is “well-received” Coates said, and the CAF focuses its outreach in particular on children and veterans who attend the organization’s events to see the vintage aircraft.

Lori Aratani and Michael Laris contributed to this report.

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments