Historic Planes Collide, Crash During Air Show

Officials have no information yet on possible casualties
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 12, 2022 5:15 PM CST
Historic Planes Collide, Crash During Air Show
Debris from two planes that crashed during an air show at Dallas Executive Airport are shown in Dallas on Saturday.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Two historic military planes collided and crashed to the ground Saturday during an air show in Dallas, exploding into a ball of flames and sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky. It was unclear how many people were on board the aircraft or if anyone on the ground was hurt, the AP reports. Leah Block, a spokesperson for Commemorative Air Force, which produced the Veterans Day weekend show and owned the aircraft, told ABC News she believed there were five crew members on the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber and one aboard the P-63 Kingcobra fighter plane. The Houston-based aircraft were not giving rides to paying customers at the time, she said. Emergency crews raced to the crash site at the Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles from the city's downtown.

Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide. "I just stood there. I was in complete shock and disbelief," said Montoya, 27, who attended the air show with a friend. "Everybody around was gasping. Everybody was bursting into tears. Everybody was in shock." Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the National Transportation Safety Board had taken control of the crash scene. "The videos are heartbreaking," Johnson said on Twitter. The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed around 1:20pm, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The accident occurred during the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas show. Victoria Yeager, the widow of famed Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager and herself a pilot, was also at the show. She didn't see the collision but did see the burning wreckage. "It was pulverized," said Yeager, 64.

The B-17, an immense four-engine bomber, was a cornerstone of American air power during World War II and is one of the most celebrated warplanes in US history. The Kingcobra, a US fighter plane, was used mostly by Soviet forces during the war. Only a handful of B-17s remain today, largely featured at museums and air shows, according to Boeing. Several videos posted on social media showed the fighter plane appearing to fly into the bomber, causing them to quickly crash to the ground. Air show safety—particularly with older military aircraft—has been a concern for years, per the AP. 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. The NTSB said then that it had investigated 21 accidents since 1982 involving World War II-era bombers that resulted in 23 deaths.

(More plane crash stories.)

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