Two planes collide and crash during Dallas Air Show

DALLAS (AP) — Two historic military planes collided Saturday during a Dallas air show, hitting the ground, exploding into a ball of flame and sending a billowing plume of black smoke into the sky. . It is unclear how many people were on board, or if anyone was injured on the ground.

Anthony Montoya saw two planes collide.

“I was just standing there. I was completely shocked and in disbelief,” said Montoya, 27, who attended the airshow with friends. “Everyone around me was gasping. Everyone was in tears. Everyone was in shock.”

Paramedics rushed to the crash site at Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles (16 km) from downtown Dallas.

Live television news footage from the scene showed people setting up orange cones around the crumpled wreckage of the bomber in the grass.

“The video is heartbreaking,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson wrote on Twitter, adding that the crash site was controlled by the National Transportation Safety Board, assisted by local police and fire departments. .

A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed at about 1:20 p.m., the FAA said in a statement. The collision occurred during the Memorial Air Force Wings Show over Dallas.

The B-17 was a massive four-engine bomber that was the cornerstone of U.S. air power during World War II. A US fighter, the King Cobra was used primarily by the Soviet military during the war. According to Boeing, most B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II, with only a handful remaining today, mostly displayed in museums and air shows.

Some videos posted on Twitter appeared to show a fighter plane dove into the bomber, which immediately crashed to the ground and launched a large ball of fire and smoke.

“It was really terrifying to see,” said Aubrey Ann Young, 37, of Leander, Texas, who saw the crash, and her children were in a hangar with their father when the accident happened. “I’m still trying to figure it out.”

In a video Young uploaded to his Facebook page, a woman next to Young can be heard crying and screaming hysterically.

Air show safety, especially for older military aircraft, has been a concern for years. In 2011, his P-51 Mustang crashed into a crowd in Reno, Nevada, killing 11 people. In 2019, seven people were killed in a bomber crash in Hartford, Connecticut. At the time, the NTSB said it had investigated 21 of his accidents since 1982 involving World War II-era bombers that resulted in 23 fatalities.

Wings Over Dallas bills itself as “America’s World War II air show,” according to the website promoting the event. By appointment, guests were to see more than 40 World War II-era aircraft. Saturday afternoon’s schedule included flight demonstrations, including a “bomber parade” and a “fighter escort” featuring a B-17 and his P-63.

Videos from previous Wings Over Dallas events show old fighter planes flying low and sometimes in close formation during simulated strafing and bombing runs. The video also shows the plane performing acrobatic stunts.

The FAA has also launched an investigation, officials said.


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