Two World War II planes collided and crashed in front of about 4,000 spectators during an air show in Dallas on Saturday. Six deaths feared.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said two Boeing B-17 King Cobra warplanes, two WWII warplanes, crashed at about 1:30 p.m. local time on Saturday afternoon.
The accident occurred during a “Wings Over Dallas” air show at Dallas Executive Airport, about ten miles south of downtown. About 4,000 spectators were present at the time of the collision. “This is a terrible tragedy,” Mayor Eric Johnson said. “Please pray for the souls of those who risked their lives to entertain and educate our families today.”
Shortly after the accident, local officials said it was not clear how many people were on both planes. There was no official confirmation of the number of casualties, but it is believed that six people were on board the two planes. It will include Terry Parker and Lynne Root, former American Airlines pilots. It is possible that the other occupants were also killed. “No one on the ground was injured,” Mayor Johnson said.
Multiple videos posted to Twitter show two planes appearing to collide in mid-air before both quickly descended, sparking a massive fire and plumes of black smoke in the sky. “I was just looking at her,” said witness Anthony Montoya. I was in shock and disbelief. Everyone around us was gasping for breath. Everyone burst into tears.”
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The B-17, a massive four-engine bomber, was a cornerstone of the US Air Force 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, most of them on display in museums and air shows, according to Boeing.
Not the first collapse
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will now jointly investigate the crash. The safety of air shows – especially on 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 Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven people. Then the National Transportation Safety Office said it had investigated 21 incidents involving World War II bombers since 1982, resulting in 23 deaths.