DALLAS – Two historic military aircraft collided and crashed during an air show in Dallas on Saturday, exploding in a ball of fire and sending black smoke into the sky. It is not clear how many people were on board the plane. Emergency teams rushed to the crash site at Dulles Executive Airport, about 10 miles from downtown.
News footage at the scene showed the broken wreckage of the plane in a grassy area within the perimeter of the airport. Dallas Fire-Rescue told the Dallas Morning News there were no reports of injuries to people on the ground.
Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide. “I just stood there. I was completely shocked and in disbelief. “Everyone around me is gasping. Everyone was crying. Everyone was shocked.”
Officials did not say how many people were on board, but Hank Coates, president of the air show’s organizing company, said one of the planes, a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, usually had four to five members. of crew. There are some people . The other, a P-63 Kingcobra fighter, has a pilot.
2 planes collide and crash during WWII airshow in Dallas
There were no customers paying for the plane, said Court of the Memorial Air Force, which also owned the plane. Their planes are piloted by volunteers with advanced training, many of whom are retired pilots, he said. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation team will arrive at the scene on Sunday.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the NTSB worked with local police and firefighters to control the crash site. “The video is heartbreaking,” Johnson said on Twitter.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the two planes collided and crashed at around 1:20 p.m. The clash took place at the Memorial Air Wings Over Dallas Show.
Victoria Yeager, widow of renowned Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager, and the pilot himself were also present at the exhibition. They didn’t see the impact, but they did see the burning debris. “He’s broken,” said Yeager, 64, of Fort Worth.
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“Everyone was hoping they could escape, but they knew it wasn’t,” he said of the people on board. A cornerstone of the US Air Force during World War II, the B-17 was a massive four-engine bomber used in daylight raids on Germany. The American fighter, the Kingcobra, was primarily used by the Soviet Army during the war.
According to Boeing, most of the B-17s were destroyed at the end of World War II, and today only a handful remain and are widely displayed at museums and air shows.
Several videos posted on social media show the fighter jet flying toward a bomber, quickly plummeting to the ground, emitting large fireballs and smoke.
“It was just awful to watch,” said Leander’s 37-year-old Aubrey Ann Young. Texas saw the crash. His children were in the cabin with their father when it happened. “I’m still trying to figure it out.”
‘Terrible tragedy in our city’: Planes crash during air show
In a video Young uploaded to his Facebook page, the woman next to Young can be heard crying and screaming hysterically. Airshow safety—especially for 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.
The NTSB then announced that it had investigated 21 World War II bombing accidents that killed 23 people. According to a website promoting the event, Wings Over Dallas bills itself as “America’s World War II air show.” The show was scheduled for November 19 From the 11th to the 13th Veterans Day weekend, guests could see more than 40 aircraft dating back to World War II. His Saturday afternoon airshow program included a “bomber parade” and “fighter escort” featuring B-17s and P-63s.