Six confirmed dead in Dallas Warbirds mid-air crash – Australian Aviation

Authorities have confirmed that six people were on board the two Warbirds that went down mid-air at an air show in Dallas on Saturday.

In the incident, which was watched by thousands of onlookers, a WWII-era Bell P-63 Kingcobra flew straight into a B-17 Flying Fortress before both fell to the ground and burst into flames.

It is not yet known whether a mechanical defect on one of the two aircraft prevented the pilots from taking evasive action.

Terry Barker, a retired American Airlines pilot, was the first to be publicly named among the deceased.

Barker was aboard the B-17 and was also an Army veteran, manning helicopters during his military service.

Armin Mizani, the mayor of Keller, Texas, said his town was “sad” and his death from Barker was a “great loss in our community.”

John Cudahy, President of the International Council of Air Shows, said on Sunday: “It is too early to find out what happened yesterday.

“I’ve watched the tape multiple times and can’t figure it out, and I’ve been doing this for 25 years.”

The city’s mayor, Eric Johnson, previously called the incident “heartbreaking” but said no bystanders on the ground were injured.

“Please say a prayer for the souls who ascended to heaven today to support and raise our families,” he said on Twitter.

The incident happened at the Wings Over Dallas air show at Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles south of downtown Dallas.

The giant B-17 was the first Boeing military aircraft with a flight deck instead of an open cockpit and first saw combat by the British RAF in 1941.

Boeing built nearly 7,000 in various models, while an additional 5,700 were built by Douglas and Lockheed. Most were scrapped after the war, and few models survive today.

The smaller P-63 Kingcobra was developed by Bell during World War II and flown primarily by the Soviet Air Force.

The tragedy comes days after Australia experienced its first mid-air collision in two years.

On Wednesday, a leisure plane and glider crashed near the Sunshine Coast, killing the only pilots, an 80-year-old Christopher Turner and a 77-year-old, yet unidentified Glenwood man.

Australian Aviation reported earlier this week how a witness told 7News he was sitting on his porch when he heard a “big bang”.

“We didn’t think that sounded like a shot and when we looked up we saw white chunks of airplane falling from the sky.”

Before the crash, the glider and its tow plane were taking off from Gympie Aerodrome in Kybong, home of the Sunshine Coast Gliding Club.

It was confirmed that the second aircraft involved in the incident was not the tow plane.

The ATSB then later said it was unable to investigate the incident because it had to focus its resources on larger aircraft.

The organization told The Australian that it understands the “responses desired” from next of kin but needs to allocate its resources to cases that would bring the “greatest benefit to public safety”.

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