Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Bitfinsider
Authorities said that two aircraft from World War II collided in midair during an air show in Dallas on Saturday, transforming the Veterans Day weekend event into a scene of misery.
The National Transportation Safety Board reported on Sunday that six individuals died in the collision.
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Bell P-63 Kingcobra crashed at approximately 1:20 p.m. local time, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The accident occurred at the Wings Over Dallas air show, which was held at Dallas Executive Airport, approximately 10 miles south of downtown Dallas.
Online videos purported to show a swift and maneuverable aircraft colliding with a larger aircraft as startled onlookers watched.
Michael Graham, a member of the N.T.S.B., stated that all five members of the B-17’s crew and the lone pilot of the Kingcobra were killed.
The authorities did not reveal the identities of the victims, however the city of Keller, Texas, around 30 miles northwest of Dallas, verified on social media that a former member of the city council, Terry Barker, died in the collision.
Mr. Graham stated that a preliminary report on the crash would be available in four to six weeks, but a complete investigation might take up to 18 months. He stated that the aircraft lacked flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders, also known as “black boxes,” and that these devices were not required to be installed.
Hank Coates, the president of the Commemorative Air Force, the organization organizing the air show, stated at a news conference on Saturday that the group’s pilots were often former airline or military pilots who were well-trained and licensed volunteers. He stated that airborne collisions at air shows were “very unusual.”
According to its website, the Commemorative Air Force restores and maintains combat aircraft from World War II.
Paul Martin, a member of the Army Air Forces Historical Association, described the Flying Fortress as a “tractor-trailer truck”-like bomber that could carry a crew of 10 or 11 people, but the Kingcobra was a single-pilot fighter jet.
He stated that having both airplanes in flying condition was an uncommon occurrence. Before Saturday’s crash, he was only aware of around nine B-17s in flying condition and one P-63 Kingcobra.
It breaks my heart to hear this, both on a personal and historical level, he remarked.
Saturday on social media, the mayor of Dallas, Eric Johnson, stated that there were no reports of injuries to spectators or people on the ground.
He stated that the videos were heartbreaking. Please offer a prayer for the individuals that took to the air today to entertain and educate our families.
Leah Block, vice president of marketing for the Commemorative Air Force, stated that over 4,000 individuals attended the event, which aims to educate the public about World War II history and recognize the accomplishments of soldiers. She stated that the group owned the two planes involved in the incident as well as more than 180 more aircraft at 60 locations across the country. About 15 aircraft participated in the event on Saturday.
Christopher Kratovil, a Dallas-based attorney, accompanied his history-loving 12-year-old daughter Kelsey to the air show on Saturday. Mr. Kratovil stated that his father took him to air displays as a child.
“It’s truly awe-inspiring to witness these planes that you’ve only heard about in history books flying and functioning,” he remarked.
He estimated that there were approximately eight aircraft in the air at the same time, a mixture of bombers like the Flying Fortress and fighters like the Kingcobra. Patriotic music played in the background as a narrator described the significance of the aircraft at the ceremony.
Mr. Kratovil observed that the Flying Fortress looked to be performing a flyby near the crowd, a regular maneuver intended to provide spectators with an excellent view.
He then witnessed the explosion.
His initial reaction was that it was pyrotechnics, but he quickly understood that midair pyrotechnics were impossible. He then witnessed a wing detach from the B-17, followed by the plane’s fuselage falling to the earth, followed by fireballs and a deafening crash.
“It struck me suddenly: This is genuine. “You are seeing the crash of a B-17,” he continued. It was a horrifying sight to behold and a horrifying experience to witness with one of my children.
Another B-17 aircraft was involved in a fatal collision in 2019. The National Transportation Safety Board reports that seven persons were killed when a Flying Fortress that had just taken off from Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Connecticut, crashed into a de-icing facility shortly after takeoff. The investigation determined that pilot error and improper maintenance contributed to the incident.
Mr. Martin, a member of the historical group, struggled to make sense of the disaster as he repeatedly viewed internet videos of the incident on Saturday night.
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