Planes Collide in Midair During Wings Over Dallas Airshow

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Liang Sen/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Chaos ensued at the 2022 Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas Airshow at the Dallas Executive Airport on Saturday (November 12th) when two planes collided mid-air sending debris falling to the ground. 

AP News reports that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed around 1:20 p.m. during the airshow. Officials also said it was unclear how many people were on board the aircrafts when the crash occurred. Numerous videos of the collision were posted on Twitter. 

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are reportedly launching investigations about what happened during the airshow. Dallas Fire-Rescue also reports that more than 40 fire rescue units are on the scene. Dallas Fire-Rescue also reported it does not have any information about the status of pilots or any injuries on the ground. However, it appears that no bystanders were hurt.

 One witness shared details about the accident. “A WWII bomber just crashed at Dallas Executive Airport. It was part of the Commemorative Air Force’s Wings Over Dallas Show. Wing just came off as it made a pass over the airfield. Tragic and horrible to witness.”

According to the Dallas Morning News, Wings Over Dallas is an aircraft show hosted by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). This is an organization dedicated to preserving World War II aircraft that’s based at the Red Bird airport. A spokesman reportedly shared, “Founded in 1957 to help preserve history, the CAF has amassed more than 180 World War II aircraft, which represents the largest collection of flying vintage military planes in the world.”

The Airshow Crash Occurred A Little Over Three Years After B-17 Crash at Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport 

The crash during the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas Airshow occurred a little over three years after a B-17 crashed at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. During that crash, seven of the 13 people on board the airplane were killed. The airbrush was destroyed by fire and only the tall, as well as portions of a wing, remained. 

The Hartford Courant reported at the time that the B-17 had engine trouble prior to takeoff. However, the passengers were assured by a mechanic that once the engine was started, it would be fine. The airplane ended up crashing as it was trying to return to the airport after reporting engine trouble just minutes in the air. 

At the time, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, criticized the lack of oversight when it came to vintage planes. “This crash is a major tragedy and it has put this industry at an inflection point and the NTSB, plus the FAA, need to address the repeated and imminent dangers that have been demonstrated over the years,” Blumenthal stated.

He then added that the plans are profoundly significant to U.S. history. “They should be revered and preserved but respected with adequate safety standards,” he continued. “If they are going to be flown and that’s why a broader examination and investigation is absolutely necessary here.”