Dallas air show crash: 6 killed in vintage plane collision, Texas officials say

Six people are dead after two WWII-era military planes collided in midair during an airshow on Saturday afternoon at Dallas Executive Airport, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office.

“During a telephone conversation, a representative from the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office informed CNN that there have been six (deaths).”

At the Wings Over Dallas airshow, the two classic aircraft – a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra – crashed, and over 40 fire rescue teams arrived at the location.

VIEW | NTSB authorities provide latest information on fatal classic aircraft accident in Dallas

The video footage of the crash, described by the mayor of Dallas as “heartbreaking,” shows the planes breaking apart in midair after colliding, seconds before hitting the ground and bursting into flames.

The latest developments are expected to occur as investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are set to arrive at the site on Sunday.

What is known about the crew members who lost their lives

The crash occurred at approximately 1:20 p.M. On Saturday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

During the accident, the Allied Pilots Association has recognized two retired pilots and ex-union members as part of the casualties – the labor organization that represents pilots of American Airlines.

The APA announced on social media that Terry Barker and Len Root, previous participants, served as crew members on the B-17 Flying Fortress throughout the airshow.

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After the occurrence, the APA is providing expert therapy services at their main office in Fort Worth, “we extend our sympathy to their loved ones, acquaintances, and associates from the past and present,” stated the union.

Mayor Armin Mizani shared on Facebook the passing of Barker, a previous councilmember for Keller, Texas, on Sunday morning.

Mizani wrote, “We have come to learn that Terry Barker, a former Councilman of Keller City and a veteran of the Army, was one of the tragic victims of the air crash at Dallas. As Keller grieves, we acknowledge that he was a devoted father and husband.”

Terry Barker adored many individuals. My friend and I frequently searched for someone whose advice we valued. His affection for the community was evident, even after he retired from his positions on the City Council and as a pilot for American Airlines.

Col. Pete Bowden, the commander of the agency, announced on Sunday that Maj. Curtis J. Rowe, a veteran of over 30 years in the Ohio Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, was also one of the individuals who lost their lives in the collision.

Bowden stated that Rowe held various roles during his time in the Civil Air Patrol, ranging from safety officer to operations officer. Most recently, he served as the maintenance officer for the Ohio Wing. The commander further mentioned that Rowe’s family was informed about his passing on Saturday evening.

Bowden wrote on Facebook, “We should be forever grateful for the Flight Academies and the flights orientation that Curt taught at or flew during, especially for the cadets. He touched the lives of thousands of his fellow CAP members, and I find solace in knowing that they do what Curt loved doing, even if they perish like great aviators.”

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“To a remarkable pilot, coworker, and Auxiliary Airman, goodbye,” he expressed.

The B-17 “typically has a team of four to five individuals. That was the number of people present on the aircraft,” according to Hank Coates, president and CEO of the Commemorative Air Force, an organization dedicated to preserving and upkeeping historical military aircraft. He conveyed this information during a news conference on Saturday.

The Commemorative Air Force recognized both planes as being stationed in Houston.

The debris field from the collision encompasses the Dallas Executive Airport grounds, Highway 67, and a neighboring shopping center, with no reports of injuries to spectators or individuals on the ground.

Uncommon planes implicated

In Conroe, Texas, close to Houston, a hangar housed the B-17, known as “Texas Raiders,” which was included in the collection of the Commemorative Air Force.

It was one of approximately 45 intact remaining instances of the prototype, with only nine of them being capable of flying.

Four of these planes, one of which is owned by the Commemorative Air Force, were capable of flying in the United States. There are a total of 14 known surviving instances. The P-63 was even more uncommon.

During the Second World War, the Soviet Air Force primarily employed approximately 3,300 P-63 aircrafts that were manufactured by Bell Aircraft from 1943 to 1945. By the start of the 1960s, a majority of the remaining 12,000 B-17s, which were built by Boeing, Douglas Aircraft, and Lockheed from 1936 to 1945, were dismantled, with almost 5,000 being lost during the war.

National Transportation Safety Board initiates response team

According to Coates, the FAA was in charge of the inquiry into the air exhibition accident on Saturday, but once their team arrived at the location, it was scheduled to be transferred to the NTSB.

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On Sunday, the NTSB announced that the team, comprised of technical specialists who are routinely deployed to locations of plane accidents, is anticipated to reach their destination. The NTSB stated that a team is being sent to examine the collision.

According to Coates, the individuals piloting the aircraft in CAF airshows are volunteers who adhere to a rigorous training procedure. Many of these volunteers are either former military pilots, former airline pilots, or currently employed airline pilots.

Coates observed, “It was what we refer to as ‘Bombers on Parade.” “The maneuvers that they (the aircraft) were executing were not dynamic in the slightest.”

Coates expressed, “they are close companions and they are like family, these individuals are all acquaintances of mine because discussing this matter is challenging for me. Hence, the pilots are highly skilled. They are thoroughly cared for. They are secure, the airplanes are exceptional aircraft, I can assure you. However, it is not solely about the airplanes. This is something different.”

Today, in our urban area, amidst an aerial exhibition, a devastating calamity has occurred. Mayor Johnson conveyed in a tweet that numerous specifics are still undisclosed or unverified following the incident. As most of you have already witnessed.

Johnson tweeted separately, urging people to pray for the individuals who embarked on a journey through the air to bring joy and knowledge to our loved ones. The videos evoke deep sadness.

The Wings Over Dallas gathering, which was scheduled to occur until Sunday, has been cancelled, as stated on the organizer’s website.

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