6 Dead After 2 Planes Crash Mid-Flight During Airshow in Dallas – NBC New York

Six people, including a former city council member and retired commercial pilot from Keller, died after two historic military planes crashed mid-air during the Wings Over Dallas Airshow at Dallas Executive Airport on Saturday.

A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed to the ground around 1:20 pm Dallas Fire-Rescue reported an Alert 3 – Aircraft Emergency.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, both planes were owned and operated by American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum.

A total of six people were killed, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner. Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted that authorities will continue working on the investigation and identification of the victims.

The National Transportation and Safety Board member, Michael Graham, confirmed that amongst those killed were five crew members on the Boeing B-17 and a pilot in the Bell-P63 Kingcobra . No ground injuries were reported.

“This is the beginning of a long process,” said Graham in terms of the investigation.

Sunday afternoon of offered condolences to the families who lost loved ones and said its team will “methodically” and “systematically” review all the evidence and consider all potential factors to determine a probable cause.

He said it will take four to six weeks for a preliminary report and a full investigation lasts a year to 18 months before a final report is released.

“Basically, we’ll look at everything that we can and we’ll let the evidence basically lead us to the appropriate conclusions, but at this point, we will not speculate on what happened,” said Graham.

He said it was too early to determine if a mechanical failure or pilot error caused the crash.

Neither aircraft was equipped with a flight data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder, often referred to as the ‘Black Box’ according to NTSB. Graham said neither were required on the planes.

He said video and pictures from witnesses who saw the collision will be ‘critical’ to the investigation.

“They’ll actually be very critical since we don’t have any flight data recorder data or cockpit voice recorders or anything like that. [It] will be very critical and to analyze the collision and also tie that in with the air traffic control recordings to determine why the two aircraft collided and to determine basically that the how and why this accident happened, and then eventually, hopefully maybe make some safety recommendations to prevent it from happening in the future,” said Graham.

People can submit photos or videos to [email protected]

He said in many general aviation accidents, there are no black boxes, or video, so it makes ‘very difficult’ for investigators to determine the probable cause, but said the expertise investigators help provide information.

“But there are times that we cannot determine the probable cause to an accident,” said Graham.

He said the NTSB will analyze radar and video to pinpoint where exactly the mid-air collision occurred on Saturday.

Graham said most of the wreckage was scatted across airport property, but there was some debris that landed outside the airfield and was recovered by Dallas Police Officers and turned over to NTSB.

“We are coordinating the wreckage to be removed to a secure location to lay out both aircrafts and examine the air frame and engines as part of the NTSB,” said Graham.

Jason Aguilera, the NTSB investigator in charge, will be joined by a deputy investigator, Mike Hodges.

“Several other NTSB investigators will be examining the following areas air worthiness, operations, air traffic control and aircraft performance,” said Graham.

Along with securing audio recordings from the air traffic control tower, NTSB said it surveyed the accident site with a drone and took on the ground pictures before the debris was moved to a secure location.

They’re also interviewing of the formation crews and airshow operators.

Graham said they are working with the Commemorative Air Force, the non-profit that hosted the air show, to get pilot training records and aircraft maintenance records.

He said they’re gathering evidence to figure out why the planes were in the same airspace.

When asked what the rules and regulations for performances such as air shows are, Graham said it’s something that they’re looking into and to see if they were ‘strictly followed’ on Saturday.

Those who saw the horrific crash remained in shock.

“It’s like literally as you looked up you saw the big plane and then you saw one of the little planes split off from the three and then as soon as it split off it’s like they just collided into each other and the little plane split the big plane in half. I honestly can’t believe that we witnessed that, like just standing here underneath it.” said Morgan Curry who saw the crash from a nearby parking lot. “We were all just standing there like ‘what just happened?’ “

Curry said she has been going to the airshow for years and never witnessed anything like it.

Hundreds of people visit the annual Wings Over Dallas Airshow every year. Those who attended Saturday recorded the crash on their phones.

Two of the six victims killed in the crash were identified Saturday night by the Allied Pilots Association as Terry Barker and Len Root. The Ohio WIng Civil Air Patrol also confirmed one of its pilots, Major Curtis J. Rowe also died in the crash.

In a press conference after the crash, we were told that the planes were well-maintained and safe and that the pilots were volunteers of the organization and highly trained.

“There is a very strict process of training and hours. All of the pilots have been vetted very carefully. Many of them have been flying with us for 20, 30 years or longer. What I can tell you is this is not their first rodeo . Many of them are very well-versed,” said Coates.

He added those involved are friends.

“I can tell you this is an extremely close-knit family. Everybody knows everybody,” he said.

The NTSB is currently working to obtain those pilot training records and flight record data.

Initially, US Southbound 67 was closed and traffic was diverted. Additionally, the Dallas Executive Airport will remain closed for the duration of the investigation. The off-ramp on US 67 at Redbird and Access Road is also closed until further notice.

According to Dallas Fire and Rescue, some debris scattered from the south end of the airport, across the highway and into a nearby strip center and was recovered by the Dallas Police Department.

The NTSB says they are analyzing where exactly the mid-air crash occurred and also working on securing audio from the air traffic control tower, along with videos and photos from the scene.

The FAA, Commemorative Air Force and the National Transportation Safety Board will continue investigating. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates.

This story is developing, check back and refresh this page for updates.

Dallas Fire-Rescue reported an Alert 3 – Aircraft Emergency, after a mid-air collision involving two historic military planes at Dallas Executive Airport in Texas.

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