The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office reported that six individuals were killed when two military aircraft from World War II collided in midair and crashed at Dallas Executive Airport during an airshow Saturday afternoon, killing everyone on board.
In a phone interview, a representative for the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office stated, “We can confirm that there are six (fatalities)”. The two antique aircraft, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra, crashed down during the Wings Over Dallas airshow, and more than 40 fire rescue teams were on the scene.
The planes are shown breaking apart in midair following the collision, then crashing to the ground within seconds, before exploding into flames, in video footage of the catastrophe, which the mayor of Dallas characterised as “heartbreaking.” The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigators are scheduled to arrive at the scene on Sunday, so here are the most recent developments.
What is known about the deceased crew members?
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the accident happened on Saturday at about 1:20 p.m. Two retired pilots who were formerly union members were among those killed in the incident, according to the labour union that represents American Airlines pilots, the Allied Pilots Association.
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According to the APA’s social media posts, former members Terry Barker and Len Root were part of the B-17 Flying Fortress crew during the airshow.
Our thoughts are with their loved ones, friends, and present and former coworkers, the union added. Following the event, the APA is providing expert counselling services at their Fort Worth offices.
Keller Mayor Armin Mizani also made the announcement of Barker’s passing on Sunday morning in a Facebook post. Barker was a former member of the city council for Keller, Texas. Terry Barker, a husband, father, Army veteran, and former member of the Keller City Council was one of the victims of the horrific crash at the Dallas Air Show, Mizani tweeted. “Keller is hurting,” she continued.
“Many people adored Terry Barker. He was a friend, and I frequently looked to him for advice. His enthusiasm for the town was evident even after he stopped flying for American Airlines and sitting on the City Council.
Maj. Curtis J. Rowe, a member of the Civil Air Patrol’s Ohio Wing for more than 30 years, was also among those killed in the incident, according to Col. Pete Bowden, the agency’s commander, who made the announcement on Sunday.
During his time with the Civil Air Patrol, Rowe had a variety of positions, including safety officer, operations officer, and most recently, maintenance officer for the Ohio Wing, according to Bowden. The commander said, “Rowe’s family was informed of his passing Saturday evening.”
“I try to take comfort in the fact that great aviators like Curt die doing what they loved. We should be eternally grateful for the impact Curt had on the lives of thousands of his fellow CAP members, particularly the cadets he taught at flight academies or flew during orientation flights, wrote Bowden in a Facebook post.
He stated, “Farewell to a terrific aviator, comrade, and Auxiliary Airman.”
The B-17 “typically has a crew of four to five,” according to Hank Coates, president and chief executive officer of the Commemorative Air Force, an organisation that maintains and preserves antique military aircraft, during a press conference on Saturday. The P-63 is a “single-piloted fighter type aircraft,” although that is what was on the aircraft.
Both aircraft were recognised as being based in Houston by the Commemorative Air Force. Despite the fact that the Dallas Executive Airport grounds, Highway 67, and a nearby strip mall are all included in the collision’s debris field, there have been no reports of spectators or any on-the-ground injuries.
uncommon aircraft engaged
The B-17 was housed in a hangar in Conroe, Texas, a suburb of Houston, and was a member of the Commemorative Air Force’s (“Texas Raiders”) collection. Only nine of the model’s approximately 45 complete surviving specimens were flight-ready. Even rare was the P-63. There are thought to be 14 specimens still existing, four of which were airworthy in the US and one of which belonged to the Commemorative Air Force.
Between 1936 and 1945, Boeing, Douglas Aircraft, and Lockheed constructed more than 12,000 B-17s, of which almost 5,000 were lost in battle and the majority were scrapped by the early 1960s. Between 1943 and 1945, Bell Aircraft produced over 3,300 P-63s, which saw primarily service with the Soviet Air Force during World War II.
NTSB establishes a Go Team
The NTSB took over the investigation once its team arrived at the disaster site, the FAA said during a news conference on Sunday. The FAA had been leading the investigation into the air show crash on Saturday. The NTSB said the crew going to the crash scene is made up of technical specialists who are frequently sent to investigate airline crashes.
NTSB member Michael Graham explained that “our staff meticulously and methodically evaluates all data and takes into account all conceivable aspects to determine the likely cause. According to Graham, investigators have begun obtaining the audio recordings from the air traffic control tower and interviewing the other formation crews and air show operators.
He said that neither aircraft had a flight data recorder or cockpit voice recorder, also referred to as a “black box.” Before the debris was relocated to a secure location, Graham said, investigators investigated the crash site using an NTSB drone and a ground-level photo of the scene. A preliminary accident report is anticipated to be released in four to six weeks, but a thorough investigation might take up to twelve to eighteen months to complete.
Graham made a plea to the witnesses, asking them to contact the NTSB if they had any images or videos of the incident. Since we don’t have any cockpit voice recorders, flight data recorders, or other similar equipment, Graham stated they will actually be extremely important.
To determine why the two aircraft collided and, in general, how and why this accident occurred, it will be crucial to analyse the collision and tie that in with the aircraft control recordings. Eventually, hopefully, it will be possible to make some safety recommendations to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.
Coates claims that the pilots who participate in CAF airshows are volunteers who go through a rigorous training regimen. A large portion of them is current or former commercial or military pilots. Coates observed that the manoeuvres the planes were performing were in no way dynamic. We refer to it as “Bombers on Parade.”
“The aircraft is not the topic here. It’s absolutely not,” remarked Coates. “I can assure you that the planes are excellent and secure. They have excellent upkeep. The pilots get excellent training. Due to the fact that I know all of these people and consider them to be family and close friends, it is tough for me to discuss them.
“As many of you have now seen, we have experienced a tragic tragedy in our city today during an airshow,” Mayor Johnson wrote in a tweet in response to the accident. Many specifics are now unknown or uncertain. “The videos are painful to see.
Please offer a prayer for the spirits of those who flew to the skies today to amuse and instruct our families, Johnson said in a different tweet. According to the organizer’s website, the Wings Over Dallas event, which was supposed to last through Sunday, has been postponed.