Authorities identify six killed during Dallas airshow collision

The pilots and crewmen died Saturday when two World War II-era aircraft collided during the Wings Over Dallas airshow.

By Julián Aguilar, The Texas NewsroomNovember 14, 2022 12:34 pm

From The Texas Newsroom:

Authorities have identified the six people killed Saturday afternoon when two military planes collided in midair during an air show over North Texas.

The names were released by the Commemorative Air Force, a Dallas-based, non-profit organization that put on the show. The group identified the deceased as: Terry Barker, Craig Hutain, Kevin “K5” Michels, Leonard “Len” Root, Dan Ragan and Curt Rowe. Barker is a former city councilman from Keller and a retired American Airlines pilot, and Root was also a retired American Airlines pilot.

The six perished when a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber collided with a P-63 Kingcobra fighter plane, the Associated Press reported Saturday. The B-17’s usual crew is about four to five people, the AP added. The air show was dubbed the Wings Over Dallas WWII Airshow and took place at the Dallas Executive Airport.

“We are heartbroken to announce that the following members of the Commemorative Air Force went west on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at the Wings Over Dallas WWII Airshow while performing,” the Commemorative Air Force said in a statement. “Please join us in mourning the loss of our good friends and fellow airmen.”

The National Transportation Safety Board, a federal agency that investigates civil aviation and other accidents, is investigating the crash. The board’s duties include determining the causes of accidents and issuing safety recommendations designed to prevent similar occurrences.

Several videos posted on social media Saturday showed the two planes colliding and the larger craft plummeting to the ground, causing a fiery explosion and subsequent billowing cloud of black smoke. No one on the ground was injured.

“The videos are heartbreaking. Please, say a prayer for the souls who took to the sky to entertain and educate our families,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson posted on Twitter Saturday.

The NTSB Monday tweeted images of its investigators touring the scene of the crash that included the charred wreckage of one of the aircraft.

The board is scheduled to hold a press briefing with additional updates Monday afternoon.

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