Dallas — Two historic military planes collided and crashed to the ground Saturday afternoon during the Dallas Air Show, killing six people, officials said.
“The Dallas County coroner says there are a total of six deaths in yesterday’s Wingsover Dallas Air Show incident,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted Sunday. He said work was continuing to identify the victims.
Paramedics rushed to the crash site at Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles (16 km) from downtown Dallas. News footage from the scene showed the crumpled wreckage of the plane on the lawn area around the airport. The Dallas Fire and Rescue Service told the Dallas Morning News that no injuries were reported on the ground.
Anthony Montoya saw two planes collide.
“I was just standing there, in complete shock and disbelief,” said Montoya, 27, who attended the airshow with friends. “Everyone around us was out of breath. Everyone was suddenly in tears. Everyone was in shock.”
Authorities did not say how many people were on board each plane, but Hank Coates, president of the company that organized the air show, said one of the aircraft, a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, had said it usually has a crew of four to five people. He has one plane, he’s a P-63 King Cobra fighter, and he’s one pilot.
Coates of the Memorial Air Force, which owned the plane, said the plane had no paying customers. Their aircraft are flown by highly trained volunteers, many of whom are retired pilots, he said.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the National Transportation Safety Board took control of the crash site, with local police and fire departments providing assistance.
“The video is heartbreaking,” Johnson said on Twitter.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the plane crashed at around 1:20 p.m. The collision occurred during the Memorial Air Force Wings Show over Dallas.
Pilot Victoria Yeager, widow of famed Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager, was also on the show. She didn’t see the crash, but she did see the burning wreckage.
“It shattered,” said Yeager, 64, of Fort Worth.
“I hoped everyone got out, but I knew they didn’t,” she said of the passengers.
The B-17 was a cornerstone of U.S. air power during World War II and was a massive four-engine bomber used in daytime raids against Germany. A US fighter, the King Cobra was used primarily by the Soviet military during the war. According to Boeing, most B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II, with only a handful remaining today, mostly displayed in museums and air shows.
Several videos posted on social media appeared to show a fighter plane dove into the bomber, which immediately crashed to the ground and launched a large ball of fire and smoke.
“It was really terrifying to see,” said Aubrey Ann Young, 37, of Leander, Texas, who saw the crash. Her children were inside the hangar with her father when it happened. “I’m still trying to figure it out.”
In a video Young uploaded to his Facebook page, a woman next to Young can be heard crying and screaming hysterically.
Air show safety, especially for older military aircraft, has been a concern for years. In 2011, his P-51 Mustang crashed into a crowd in Reno, Nevada, killing 11 people. In 2019, seven people were killed in a bomber crash in Hartford, Connecticut. The NTSB said it had investigated 21 of his accidents since 1982 that involved World War II-era bombers and resulted in 23 fatalities.
Wings Over Dallas bills itself as “America’s premiere World War II air show,” according to the website promoting the event.The show is scheduled for Veterans Day weekend, November 11-13. and guests were to see more than 40 World War II-era aircraft. Saturday afternoon’s schedule of flight demonstrations included a “bomber parade” and a “fighter escort” featuring a B-17 and his P-63.
Arthur Alan Wolk is a Philadelphia aviation attorney who has performed at air shows for 12 years. After watching a video of the air show and hearing a maneuver described as a “parade of bombers,” Wolk told The Associated Press on Sunday that the P-63 pilots violated the basic rules of flying in formation. .
“He got mad at the leader,” Wolk said. “It prevents him from measuring distance and position. When you can’t see people who are supposed to be platooning, the risk of collision is very high and such merging is not allowed.” Hmm.”
“I don’t blame anyone. As far as possible, the air show, the pilots and the aircraft that fly in it are safe. Such tragedies rarely happen, they do.”
Wark said that flying in an air show setting required extensive training and discipline. The P-63 pilot’s air show qualifications are unknown.
The FAA has also launched an investigation, officials said.
Breed was reported from Little Rock, Arkansas. Bobby Kayna Calvin of New York City, Ken Miller of Oklahoma City, and Dave Kolpak of Fargo, North Dakota contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
https://abc7ny.com/plane-crash-air-show-dallas-texas-airport-collision/12449443/ Plane Crash Air Show Texas: Six killed in wing crash over Dallas involving Memorial Air Force B-17 at Executive Airport