DALLAS (AP) — Two historic army planes collided and crashed to the bottom Saturday throughout an air present in Dallas, exploding right into a ball of flames and sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky. It was not clear how many individuals have been on board the planes.
Emergency crews raced to the crash scene on the Dallas Govt Airport, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from town’s downtown. Information footage from the scene confirmed crumpled wreckage of the planes in a grassy space, apparently contained in the airport perimeter. Dallas Fireplace-Rescue informed The Dallas Morning Information that there have been no reported accidents amongst individuals on the bottom.
Anthony Montoya noticed the 2 planes collide.
“I simply stood there. I used to be in full shock and disbelief,” stated Montoya, 27, who attended the air present with a pal. “All people round was gasping. All people was bursting into tears. All people was in shock.”
Officers wouldn’t say how many individuals have been on board the planes, however Hank Coates, president of the corporate that placed on the airshow, stated one of many planes, a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, usually has a crew of 4 to 5 individuals. The opposite, a P-63 Kingcobra fighter airplane, has a single pilot.
No paying prospects have been on the plane, stated Coates, of Commemorative Air Drive, which additionally owned the planes. Their plane are flown by extremely skilled volunteers, usually retired pilots, he stated.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson stated the Nationwide Transportation Security Board had taken management of the crash scene with native police and fireplace offering assist.
“The movies are heartbreaking,” Johnson stated on Twitter.
The planes collided and crashed round 1:20 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration stated in a press release. The collision occurred throughout the Commemorative Air Drive Wings Over Dallas present.
Victoria Yeager, the widow of famed Air Drive check pilot Chuck Yeager and herself a pilot, was additionally on the present. She did not see the collision, however did see the burning wreckage.
“It was pulverized,” stated Yeager, 64, who lives in Fort Value.
“We have been simply hoping that they had all gotten out, however we knew they didn’t,” she stated of these on board.
The B-17, an immense four-engine bomber, was a cornerstone of U.S. air energy throughout World Conflict II and is without doubt one of the most celebrated warplanes in U.S. historical past. The Kingcobra, a U.S. fighter airplane, was used largely by Soviet forces throughout the warfare. Most B-17s have been scrapped on the finish of World Conflict II and solely a handful stay at the moment, largely featured at museums and air reveals, in response to Boeing.
A number of movies posted on social media confirmed the fighter airplane showing to fly into the bomber, inflicting them to shortly crash to the bottom and setting off a big ball of fireside and smoke.
“It was actually horrific to see,” Aubrey Anne Younger, 37, of Leander. Texas, who noticed the crash. Her youngsters have been contained in the hangar with their father when it occurred. “I’m nonetheless making an attempt to make sense of it.”
A lady subsequent to Younger will be heard crying and screaming hysterically on a video that Younger uploaded to her Fb web page.
Air present security – significantly with older army plane – has been a concern for years. In 2011, 11 individuals have been killed in Reno, Nevada, when a P-51 Mustang crashed into spectators. In 2019, a bomber crashed in Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven individuals. The NTSB stated then that it had investigated 21 accidents since 1982 involving World Conflict II-era bombers, leading to 23 deaths.
Wings Over Dallas payments itself as “America’s Premier World Conflict II Airshow,” in response to an internet site promoting the occasion. The present was scheduled for Nov. 11-13, Veterans Day weekend, and company have been to see greater than 40 World Conflict II-era plane. Its Saturday afternoon schedule of flying demonstrations included the “bomber parade” and “fighter escorts” that featured the B-17 and P-63.
Movies of earlier Wings Over Dallas occasions depict classic warplanes flying low, typically in shut formation, on simulated strafing or bombing runs. The movies additionally present the planes performing aerobatic stunts.
The FAA was additionally launching an investigation, officers stated.
Bleed reported from Little Rock, Arkansas
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