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The footage from the scene showed a crumpled wreckage of planes in a grassy area on the edge of the airport.

Debris from two planes that crashed during an air show at the Dallas Executive Airport lay on the ground Saturday, November 12, 2022 (AP Photo / LM Otero)
Press association

DALLAS (AP) – Six people were killed after two historic military planes crashed into the ground on Saturday afternoon at the Dallas air show, officials said.

“According to our Dallas County medical expert, a total of 6 people were killed in yesterday’s Wings over Dallas incident,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted. He said authorities were still working on identifying the victims.

Rescue teams raced to the crash site at the Dallas Executive Airport, approximately 16 kilometers from the city center. The footage from the scene showed a crumpled wreckage of planes in a grassy area on the edge of the airport. The Dallas Fire-Rescue told The Dallas Morning News that no injuries to people on the ground were reported.

Anthony Montoya saw a collision between two planes.

“I was just standing there. I was in complete shock and disbelief, ”said Montoya, 27, who attended the air show with a friend. “Everyone around the throttle. Everyone was crying. Everyone was shocked. “

Officials did not specify how many people were on each plane, but Hank Coates, president of the company that hosted the air show, said one of the planes, the B-17 Flying Fortress b*mber, typically has a crew of four to five. The second, the P-63 Kingcobra fighter, has one pilot.

There were no paying customers on the plane, said Coates of the Commemorative Air Force, which also owned the planes. He said their planes are operated by highly trained volunteers, often retired pilots.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the National Transportation Safety Board has seized control of the crash site with the support of local police and firefighters.

“Movies are painful,” Johnson said on Twitter.

The planes collided and crashed around 1:20 pm, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The collision occurred during the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas show.

Victoria Yeager, widow of the famous Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager, and the pilot herself, also attended the show. She couldn’t see the collision, but she did see the wreck on fire.

“It was powdered,” says Yeager, 64, from Fort Worth.

“We just hoped they all got out, but we knew they wouldn’t,” she said of those on board.

The B-17, the cornerstone of the US Air Force during World War II, is a massive four-engine b*mber used in the daytime raids on Germany. The Kingcobra, an American fighter plane, was mainly used by Soviet troops during the war. Most of the B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II, and only a handful have survived to this day, largely on display in museums and airshows, according to Boeing.

Several videos posted on social media showed that the fighter appears to fly into the b*mber, causing it to quickly crash into the ground and launch a large ball of fire and smoke.

“It was really scary,” 37-year-old Aubrey Anne Young of Leander. Texas that saw the crash. Her children were in the hangar with their father when it happened. “Still trying to figure it out.”

The woman next to Young is crying and screaming hysterically at the video Young uploaded to her Facebook page.

The safety of airshows – especially with older military planes – has been an issue for years. In 2011, 11 people were killed in Reno, Nevada when a P-51 Mustang hit viewers. In 2019, a b*mber crashed in Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven people. The NTSB then said it had investigated 21 crashes since 1982 involving WWII b*mbers, killing 23 people.

Wings Over Dallas advertises itself as the “US Premier World War II Airshow,” according to the website advertising the event. The show was scheduled for November 11-13, the weekend of Veterans Day, and visitors were to see more than 40 planes from World War II. Saturday’s afternoon air show schedule included a “b*mber parade” and “fighter escort” in which the B-17s and P-63s participated.

Arthur Alan Wolk is an aviation attorney in Philadelphia who has flown at air shows for 12 years. After watching the video of the air show and hearing the maneuvers described as “parade b*mbers,” Wolk told The Associated Press on Sunday that the P-63 pilot violated a basic formation flight rule.

“He came up to the leader with his belly,” said Wolk. “This prevents him from judging distance and position. The risk of a collision is very high when you cannot see who you should be in formation with, and such a connection is not allowed.

He added: “I don’t blame anyone and as much as possible the airshows, the pilots and the planes that fly in them are safe. The air show is one of the biggest shows in America, and it is rare to see such a tragedy.

Wolk said flying at air shows requires intense training and discipline. The P-63 pilot’s qualifications for the air show are not known.

The FAA has also opened an investigation, officials said.

Bleeding reported from Little Rock, Arkansas. Bobby Caina Calvan of New York, Ken Miller of Oklahoma City, and Dave Kolpack of Fargo, ND contributed to this report.

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