Tragedy over Dallas
Unless you have been under a rock all weekend, two WWII-vintage warbirds owned and operated by the American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum– the Commemorative Air Force– suffered a catastrophic mid-air collision during an air show at the Dallas Executive Airport on Saturday. There are several viral videos floating around, none of which will be shared here as they show the deaths of all six crew involved.
CAF reports it is “working with local authorities and the FAA, and the NTSB will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident.”
The aircraft involved were Boeing B-17G-95-DL/PB-1W Flying Fortress 44-83872/BuNo 77235/N7227C, best known as “Texas Raiders,” and Bell P-63F-1-BE Kingcobra 44-11719/N6763.
Texas Raiders was among the last 20 B-17s built by Douglas in Long Beach, coming out of the plant in July 1945. Transferred to the Navy for conversion to a PB-1W Patrol Bomber, she racked up over 3,000 hours before she was retired in 1955 and sold to the Aero Service Corporation two years later for use as an airborne survey aircraft. She went on to become one of the longest civilian-operated B-17s after CAF purchased her third hand in 1967, appearing in countless airshows and as an extra in movies for over 30 years. Notably, she is the B-17 in Tora, Tora, Tora that is shown low-flying with only one wheel deployed– a trick she would display many times over the years.
43-11719 was the sole surviving P-63F of the two believed built. She did not see formal military service but rather flew as a test airframe with Bell Aircraft– hence the black “X” marks on her wings and fuselage. Following WWII, the U.S. Government sold the aircraft on the surplus market and she made waves on the Air Race circuit throughout the 1970s before she was picked up by CAF in 1981 and extensively restored.
HOW TO SUPPORT THE FAMILIES
On behalf of its board, staff, and members, the International Council of Air Shows offers its heartfelt condolences to the families of those individuals involved in the recent accident in Dallas and to our colleagues in the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). In response, the International Council of Air Shows Foundation, in association with the CAF, is accepting donations for the families of those involved in the accident. To donate, go to https://airshowfoundation.org/support/ , select “Donation in honor or memory of an individual” and type “CAF” as the “Name of Memorialized”. 100% of the money collected through this effort will be provided to the families as emergency funding, with all received funds being split equally amongst those families impacted.
The ICAS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and follows all IRS guidelines. Although most donations made to the ICAS Foundation are tax deductible, please consult with your individual tax adviser to confirm the deductibility of your contribution. EIN: 38-2885409