6 Killed In Plane Crash At Veterans Day Event
On the afternoon of Saturday, November 12th airshow viewers were horrified by the sight of smoke and flames as 2 vintage WW2 aircraft collided with each other. The two planes, a B-17 Flying Fortress, and a P-63 Kingcobra were flying for a Veterans Day Weekend event. The event was an airshow known as Wings Over Dallas, which took place at Dallas Executive Airport. Video footage shows the two flying at high speeds slamming into each other, before bursting into flames and crashing to the ground. Emergency workers were immediately called to the scene.
Six fatalities were confirmed by the Dallas County Medical Examiner, 5 of them from the B-17 and one from the Kingcobra. The identities of three of the crew members involved were confirmed to be Terry Barker, Major Curtis J. Rowe, and Len Root. Terry Barker was a veteran, former American Airlines pilot, and former city council member for Keller, Texas. Major Curtis J. Rowe was a 30-year veteran of the Ohio Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. Len Root was a former American Airlines pilot. Allied Pilots released this statement reguarding the events.
Both aircraft that were destroyed were from Houston and were owned by the Commemorative Air Force, which provided aircraft to the show. They had been brought to the Wings Over Dallas event as a means to honor veterans and educate the 4,000 audience members who attended the event. Both aircraft were extremely rare with the B-17 having only 9 models that are still in flying shape and the Kingcobra having only 4 models in flying shape.
The Federal Aviation Administration launched an investigation over the crash before giving the investigation to the National Transportation Security Board. There has been concern over the safety of flying older military aircraft, with 23 deaths since 1982 which have involved WW2-era aircraft. The cause of this tragedy is yet to be revealed, but the damage done is irreparable on a historical, and more importantly human level.