Wings Over Dallas crash: Video shows sky FULL of planes before horrifying fatal collision

The Boeing B17 Flying Fortress bomber flew through the P-63's blind zone causing the crash, leading to the death of pilots Len Root and Terry Barker

Wings Over Dallas crash: Video shows sky FULL of planes before horrifying fatal collision
Two Worldwar II-era planes collided during an airshow in Dallas and burst into flames midair (Twitter/@gran18_, Twitter/@JasonWhitely)
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DALLAS, TEXAS: Two antique airplanes crashed in midair on the afternoon of November 12, scattering wreckage and bursting into flames that sent a column of thick, black smoke into the sky. The number of passengers on board the airplane at the time of the disaster was not immediately known. A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided at Dallas Executive Airport during the Wings Over Dallas display at around 1.20 pm, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Around eight miles southwest of downtown Dallas, at the airfield along US Highway 67 and Hampton Road in Red Bird, dozens of Dallas Fire-Rescue trucks and law enforcement officers arrived to tend to the disaster.

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Daily Mail reports that two of the former members of the Allied Pilots Association, the union that represents American Airlines pilots, were listed as being on the B-17's crew, according to a tweet from the organization. The pilots on board were Len Root and Terry Barker. Hank Coates, CEO of Commemorative Air Force, stated that a P-63 is a single-pilot aircraft and a B-17 typically has a crew of four to five people, but he did not confirm the number of personnel on board the aircraft. No paying passengers were on the aircraft at the time, according to Coates, whose organization arranged the air show

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A video uploaded on Twitter depicts a P-63 Kingcobra moving toward a Boeing B17 Flying Fortress bomber. The bomber seems to fly through the P-63's blind zone, and when the two planes crash, they rip each other to pieces. A second video taken from a different viewpoint demonstrates how the Kingcobra was banking right and unable to anticipate the B-17's approach to the blindspot. As the B-17's wings caught fire and it fell to the ground close, its front and back ripped apart.

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A witness exclaimed, "Oh my god!" in Spanish, and from a field where many spectators were gathered to view the performance overhead, a sizable cloud of black smoke could be seen. "Was that supposed to happen?" a little child was heard questioning in another video.

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According to Dallas Morning News, at a news conference, Coates said the company had more than 180 planes. He claimed that the pilots that fly them for displays are volunteers, but many of them are former military and airline pilots, so they are not inexperienced pilots. “This is not about the aircraft — it’s just not,” Coates said. “The aircraft are great aircraft; they’re safe, they’re very well maintained, the pilots are very well trained.”

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4,000 to 6,000 people were present when the planes crashed, according to Coates. Houston served as the base of both aircraft. According to Dallas Fire-Rescue, the crash left debris all over the airport grounds, an adjacent strip mall, and Highway 67. Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans stated that departmental resources were already on location in case of an emergency, enabling firemen to arrive at the scene of the accident, in the south end of the airport, promptly and put out the fires "where most of the wreckage came to rest."

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Several hours later, a southern Dallas freeway segment that had been restricted to traffic was restored at 6.30 pm. On the night of November 12, Dallas police announced that the southbound service road would stay blocked. The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA were looking into the collision. The agency's crew is scheduled to arrive in Dallas on November 13, according to the NTSB, which has its headquarters in Washington, DC.

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