Video: Two planes collide at the Dallas air show

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed around 1:20 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement.

DALLAS — Two historic military planes collided and crashed into the ground Saturday during a Dallas air show, federal officials said, sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky.

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed around 1:20 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement. The collision occurred during the Air Force Wings Memorial show over Dallas.

said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on sunday that six people died in the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board later confirmed the deaths during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

“The authorities will continue to work today on the investigation and identification of the deceased,” he said on social media. “Pray for their families and all involved.”

During Sunday’s news conference, the NTSB confirmed that there were five crew members on the B-17 and one on board the P-63.

Four of the six victims have been identified, so far: Terry Barker, Curtis Rowe, Craig Hutain and Len Root.

RELATED: What We Know About Dallas Air Show Plane Crash Victims

According to the NTSB, neither plane had a flight data recorder, also known as a “black box.” The NTSB said videos and images of witnesses will be fundamental to the research.

Anyone with video and footage is encouraged to contact the NTSB at witness@ntsb.gov.

Leah Block, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Commemorative, said the Houston-based plane was not giving rides to paying customers at the time.

The B-17, an immense four-engine bomber, was a cornerstone of American air power during World War II. The Kingcobra, an American combat aircraft, was used primarily by Soviet forces during the war. Most of the B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II and only a few remain today, largely on display in museums and air shows, according to Boeing.

The NTSB also said debris from the wreckage was scattered but mostly contained on airport property.

Debris from the crash fell onto southbound Highway 67, sources told WFAA’s Jason Whitely. The southbound and northbound lanes of the freeway. 67 were closed due to the accident, according to Dallas police.

various videos posted on Twitter showed two planes appearing to collide in mid-air before both quickly descended, causing a large fire and plumes of black smoke to billow into the sky.

What went wrong?

Aviation attorney Jon Kettles believes both World War II planes were operating properly at the time of the crash, but notes that the P-63 has poor visibility.

“The age of the aircraft is a bit misleading. There are a lot of very old aircraft still flying safely. There are airworthiness requirements,” he said. “Just a terrible loss probably caused by a momentary lapse of judgment or momentary carelessness.”

The NTSB and Kettles said Sunday that the investigation will also look at the size of the area the planes were able to fly and the plan to keep everyone involved safe, as well as whether the planes were following a pre-planned routine.

“That part of the process that we’re going to go through is trying to determine what those processes and procedures were and whether they were strictly followed,” NTSB board member Michael Graham said. “We’re going to look at everything we can and let the evidence lead us to the appropriate conclusions, but at this point we’re not going to speculate about what happened.”

“Sure it’s an airport, but it’s not a giant piece of real estate when it comes to a lot of airplanes doing a lot of creative things in a small space,” Kettles said. “That’s probably going to be the central focus. What was the plan to keep everything safe because obviously that plan didn’t work.”

Kettles said investigations, which can take a year or more, often rely on air show technical experts and keep family members in the dark.

“The problem with the process is that the people who influence the NTSB’s findings are probably the people who had a role in causing the accident,” he said.

Witness reaction

Marvella García, who worked with the program as a Chevrolet brand ambassador, said she was talking to someone doing a survey when the accident happened, and the person she was talking to said “whoa, look at that explosion.”

“I looked and said ‘oh, that’s just part of the show,'” Garcia said. “There’s a show within the show. The planes will cross and then there are little explosions.”

Garcia said she soon realized she wasn’t part of the program. She said she’s worked for several shows like this where it’s normal to see reenactments involving planes and explosions.

“Some people thought it was a reenactment,” Garcia said of the crowd’s reaction to the crash. “Whenever that happened, everybody was kind of shocked like, is this really happening or is it just a reenactment?”

Air show 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 spectators. In 2019, a bomber crashed in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, killing seven people. The NTSB said at the time that it had investigated 21 crashes since 1982 involving World War II bombers, resulting in 23 deaths.

Wings Over Dallas is billed as America’s “Premier World War II Air Show,” according to a website advertising the event. The show was scheduled for November. 11-13, Veterans Day weekend, and guests saw more than 40 World War II aircraft.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson tweeted the following statement on Saturday:

“As many of you have seen by now, we had a terrible tragedy in our city today during an air show. Many details remain unknown or unconfirmed at this time. @NTSB took command of the accident scene with @DallasPD e @DallasFireRes_q continue to provide support.”

President of the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation and former Republican state representative. Jason Villalba said he was at the air show today.

“We left at 12:00, but George and I had planned to go for a ride in the B-17,” Villalba told WFAA. “We didn’t because I was exhausted. Wow.”

The FAA released the following statement to WFAA:

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 on Saturday. At this time, it is unknown how many people were on the two planes. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will continue the investigation and provide additional updates.

The Air Force Memorial/Wings Over Dallas sent WFAA this statement:

“This afternoon, two aircraft were involved in a mid-air collision at Dallas Executive Airport. The aircraft were a B-17 and a P-63 Kingcobra, both out of Houston. We currently have no information on the status of the flight crews. emergency responders are working on the crash. The Commemorative Air Force is working with local authorities and the FAA, and the NTSB will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash. Any available information will be posted at www.commemorativeairforce.org.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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