Two vintage military planes collided midair and nose-dived to the ground in a fiery crash during an air show at Dallas Executive Airport on Saturday, killing all six people on board.
The World War II–era planes, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra, collided in front of thousands of spectators around 1:20 p.m. at the Wings Over Dallas WWII Airshow, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA is now working with the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the crash.
A spokesperson for the NTSB said at a press conference that there were five crew members on the B-17 and one pilot on the P-63, all of whom died in the crash. The victims have not yet been identified. There were no paying customers on board the planes, and no spectators were harmed during the event.
Footage shows the two planes breaking apart midair after the collision, then dropping to the ground and bursting into flames. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson called the crash a “terrible tragedy.”
Hank Coates, the chief executive of Wings Over Dallas organizer Commemorative Air Force, said at a press conference that the pilots in the air show were “well-trained” volunteers with military or commercial piloting experience.
“We fly about 6,500 hours a year in air shows and training … We are a very close-knit family,” Coates said. “The outpouring of support [we] are getting right now ... is amazing."
The rest of the Wings Over Dallas event, which involved reenactments and flight demonstrations, has been canceled. The event, scheduled over Veterans Day weekend, aims to give attendees a closer look at World War II history.
Other air shows featuring vintage planes have turned deadly over the past decade. In 2019, a B-17 Flying Fortress crashed at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, killing seven of the 13 people on board. In 2016, a pilot died when his T-28 Trojan plane crashed in front of thousands of people in Alberta, Canada.