A stunned crowd witnessed a tragedy unfold as two aircraft collided, fell to the ground, and erupt in flames during an Air Show in Dallas Texas celebrating Veterans Day.
The P-63 hit the B-17 “Texas Raiders” from the left side, severing the tail. The two aircraft then fell down, exploding when impacting the ground.
Federal officials reported that during the airshow on Saturday, two antique military aircraft collided and plummeted to the ground, sending columns of black smoke into the sky.
Around 1:20 pm, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). During the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas performance, there was a collision. Six fatalities from the collision were verified on Sunday by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins confirmed on Sunday that six people died in the crash:
"Authorities will continue working today on the investigation & identification of the deceased," he said on social media. "Please pray for their families and all involved."
Several people on Twitter shared videos of the incident including from different angles:
#BREAKING: New angle of the mid-air collision obtained by @WFAA shows B-17 and other aircraft flying formations at #WingsOverDallas at 1:21p today, when it was hit by a P-63 and fell to the ground over the airfield at Dallas Executive Airport (RBD). pic.twitter.com/6NAS93b3re— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) November 12, 2022
According to Henry “Hank” Coates, President and CEO of the Commemorative Air Force, the individuals flying the aircraft in CAF airshows are volunteers and follow a strict training process. Many of them are airline pilots, retired airline pilots, or retired military pilots.
“The maneuvers that they (the aircraft) were going through were not dynamic at all,” Coates noted. “It was what we call ‘Bombers on Parade.”
“This is not about the aircraft. It’s just not,” Coates said. “I can tell you the aircraft are great aircraft, they’re safe. They’re very well-maintained. The pilots are very well-trained. So it’s difficult for me to talk about it, because I know all these people, these are family, and they’re good friends.”
After the crash, Mayor Johnson tweeted, “As many of you have now seen, we have had a terrible tragedy in our city today during an airshow. Many details remain unknown or unconfirmed at this time.” “The videos are heartbreaking. Please, say a prayer for the souls who took to the sky to entertain and educate our families today,” Johnson said in a separate tweet. The Wings Over Dallas event, which was scheduled to run through Sunday, has been canceled, according to the organizer’s website.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who were killed as well as those in attendance who have been affected by this tragedy.