A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 King Cobra collided and crashed at the Wings Airshow in Dallas around 1:20 p.m. Saturday, according to the FAA.
Authorities responded to the incident at Dallas Executive Airport, Dallas Fire Rescue’s Jason Evans told CNN on Saturday.
The number of casualties in the crash was still unconfirmed late Saturday afternoon, according to Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.
More than 40 fire and rescue teams were on the scene after the collision, according to the agency’s events page.
At a news conference Saturday afternoon, Memorial Air Force President and CEO Hank Coats told reporters that the B-17 “typically has four or five crew members. That’s what’s on the plane,” while the P-63 is “Single Pilot Fighter Type Aircraft”.
“I can tell you it’s usually manned,” Coates said. “Until the NTSB allows me to do so, I cannot release the number of people on the list or the names on the list.”
Memorial Air Force determined that both planes left Houston.
“At this time we have no information on the status of the crew as emergency responders are addressing the incident,” a statement from the group said, adding that it was working with local authorities and the FAA.
The FAA is currently leading the investigation, which will be handed over to the NTSB around 9 p.m. when the NTSB team arrives on scene, Coates said.
“Their exercises [the aircraft] What’s going through is not dynamic at all,” Coates noted. “It’s what we call a ‘parade bomber.’ ”
Johnson tweeted late Saturday that no spectators or others on the ground were injured, although the debris field from the collision included the Dallas Executive Airport grounds, Highway 67 and a nearby strip mall.
The event, which was scheduled for Sunday, has been canceled, according to the organizer’s website.
johnson tweeted after the crash“As many of you can now see, a terrible tragedy occurred in our city today during an airshow. Many details are currently unknown or unconfirmed.”
“These videos are heartbreaking. Please pray for the souls that took to the skies today to entertain and educate our family,” Johnson said in another tweet.
After the incident, all north and south lanes of the expressway were closed. Dallas Police Department said.
“It’s not about the plane. It’s not,” Coates told a news conference. “I can tell you these planes are great planes, they’re safe. They’re well maintained. The pilots are well trained. So it’s hard for me to talk about it because I know all these people, they’re family, they’re good friend.”
According to Coates, the people who fly the planes at the CAF air show are volunteers and have undergone rigorous training. Many of them were airline pilots, retired airline pilots or ex-military pilots, Coates said.
Part of the Memorial Air Force Collection, the B-17 was nicknamed “The Texas Raider” and was hanged at Conroe, Texas, near Houston. It is one of about 45 complete surviving examples of the model, of which only nine were seaworthy.
P-63 is even rarer. About 14 aircraft are known to have survived, four of which were airworthy in the United States and one owned by the Memorial Air Force.
Between 1936 and 1945, Boeing, Douglas Aircraft, and Lockheed produced more than 12,000 B-17s, of which nearly 5,000 were lost during the war, and most of the rest were scrapped in the early 1960s. Bell Aircraft produced approximately 3,300 P-63s between 1943 and 1945, primarily for use by the Soviet Air Force during World War II.
This is a developing story.