Six people are feared dead after two vintage airplanes collided midair at Dallas Executive Airport on Saturday afternoon. The collision happened around 1:20 pm when a World War II-era P-63 Kingcobra slammed into a B-17 plane in midair at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow. Videos taken by witnesses captured the horrifying moment the midair collision took place.
There was no immediate word from authorities on the number of passengers or whether there were any injuries on the ground. Nevertheless, an ABC News producer tweeted that at least six individuals, all crew members, were believed to be dead as a result of the crash, citing information from a coworker.
Horrifying Midair Crash
The FAA identified the two airplanes as Bell P-63 Kingcobra and Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, but the number of passengers on board both planes either was still unclear. However, according to an ABC News report, a spokesperson for the Commemorative Air Force, which sponsored the event, there were reportedly five crew members on the B-17 and one on the single-seat P-63.
"A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow at Dallas Executive Airport in Texas around 1:20 p.m. local time Saturday," the Federal Aviation Administration said. "At this time, it is unknown how many people were on both aircraft."
A video posted online shows a P-63 Kingcobra moving toward a Boeing B17 Flying Fortress bomber. The bomber appears to fly through the P-63's blind spot, as the two aircraft meet and collide, ripping each other apart. The front and back of the B17 ripped apart as its wings caught fire and it fell to the ground nearby.
In another video, a woman watching the planes from a shopping center parking lot can be heard on another video saying "Oh no. Oh no" as they collide and then "Oh my God!" as she sees the fireball.
A witness to the air show claimed that the P-63 was banking at the moment and had the B17 in its blind spot, making it impossible for it to predict the impending collision. The Flying Fortress is comparable to a "tractor-trailer truck," large enough to accommodate a crew of 10 or 11, while the Kingcobra is a fighter aircraft with just one pilot.
A total of 40 fire-rescue teams arrived on the site right away.
Witnesses have reported finding debris all along Highway 67 in Texas, where fire rescue authorities claim an active fire has started. Traffic is being detoured as the motorway is currently closed.
Authorities with Dallas Fire-Rescue are currently unaware of the condition of either pilot or of any injuries caused by a piece of falling debris.
The event involving the rare World War II-era aircraft is similar to the 2019 tragedy in which a B-17 performing a "heritage fly" tour crashed into a Connecticut airfield, leaving seven people dead.
According to one eyewitness posting on Twitter, "A WWII bomber just crashed at Dallas Executive Airport. It was part of the Commemorative Air Force's Wings Over Dallas Show. Wing just came off as it made a pass over the airfield," one person tweeted.
"Tragic and horrible to witness," another added.
The bomber was apparently being flown by a member of the Gulf Coast Wings Texas Raiders.
Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide. "I just stood there. I was in complete shock and disbelief," said Montoya, 27, who attended the airshow with a friend. "Everybody around was gasping. Everybody was bursting into tears. Everybody was in shock."
In one video, an announcer can be heard warning viewers to put their cellphones away so that emergency personnel have clear channels, and warning parents that their children "may wish to turn away" from the situation.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson tweeted "As many of you have now seen, we have had a terrible tragedy in our city today during an airshow. Many details remain unknown or unconfirmed at this time. The @NTSB has taken command of the crash scene with @DallasPD and @DallasFireRes_q continuing to provide support."
The airshow was promoted before the disaster as a chance to "re-live history," with a variety of World War Two aircraft on display and in use.
More than 40 World War II-era planes were to be on display at the event, which was set to run from November 11–13, the Veterans Day weekend.