Six people have died after two vintage aircraft crashed during an airshow in Texas. The collision occurred on Saturday afternoon at the Wings For Dallas Airshow when a B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra came together mid-air.
In a statement, the airshow organizers said: “Two aircraft were involved in a mid-air collision at Dallas Executive Airport. The aircraft were a B-17 Flying Fortress and P-63 Kingcobra, both out of the Houston area.
“The Commemorative Air Force is working with local authorities, the FAA, and the NTSB will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident.”
In footage of the crash, the two planes can be seen flying at the same altitude, before the P-63 collides with the tail of the Flying Fortress. The aircraft then come crashing to the ground.
According to CNN, the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed yesterday that all six crewmembers onboard the two planes died in the crash. According to CNN:
“‘We can confirm that there are six (fatalities),’ a spokesperson for the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office told CNN in a phone call.
“More than 40 fire rescue units responded to the scene after the two vintage planes – a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra – went down during the Wings Over Dallas airshow.”
In the aftermath of the crash, the Allied Pilots Association named Terry Barker and Len Root as two of the crew members killed in the collision. During a press conference yesterday, Curtis J. Rowe was also identified as one of the victims in the crash.
“Our hearts go out to their families, friends, and colleagues past and present,” the Allied Pilots Association said on social media.
The two planes involved in the crash were some of the last surviving examples of these aircraft. The B-17 Flying Fortress, which was used in combat between 1936 and 1945, was one of just nine airworthy models in the U.S.
The P-63 Kingcobra was used by the U.S. Airforce between 1943 and 1945. The plane involved in this weekend’s crash was one of four flight-ready examples here in America.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is managing the investigation into what caused the crash in Dallas.
A team of investigators is now on the scene in Texas, including technical experts who will “methodically and systematically” review all the evidence. As part of the investigation, the NTSB will collect audio recordings from air traffic control and will interview other crews involved in the airshow.
Due to the age of these aircraft, neither was equipped with a flight recorder, or “black box” that investigators would look for on crashes involving planes.