NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on Fatal Texas Midair Collision

The airplanes were in the air before the flight, and there were no altitude deconflictions briefed. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a preliminary report has been released on the fatal midair collision between a Kingcobra P-63F and a B-17G during the Dallas Over Wings airshow.

Altitude conflict resolution procedures are implemented in case pilots find themselves at an incorrect altitude during the flight.

On November 12th, the crash resulted in the deaths of six people, with five fatalities taking place on the B-17G Texas Raiders and one person losing their life on the Bell P-63F Kingcobra.

The aviators were volunteers with the CAF. Both were members of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), a non-profit organization based in Dallas, Texas, committed to safeguarding and exhibiting historic airplanes. Both planes–B-17G, N7227C, and Bell P-63F, N6763–are listed under the ownership of the American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum.

Comprehensive Report

As a part of the procession of airplanes, the aircrafts were soaring in a northward direction, running parallel to Runway 31. During the occurrence, the weather was stated to be clear with no clouds, while the wind was blowing from 350° at a speed of 14 knots, occasionally reaching 18 knots. A video recording of the incident captures the scene.

The show had two established lines for the audience to directly observe the aircraft flying over. One line was positioned 1,000 feet above the audience, while the other line was placed 500 feet above them.

According to the NTSB, the P-63F occupied the third position in a formation of three fighters, while the B-17G served as the leader of a formation consisting of five bombers.

  • Find out more: NTSB Initiates Investigation Following Dallas Airshow Incident.
  • The airplane followed the instructions, as indicated by Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) information. The specified operational zone was the area for aerial demonstrations, where both the fighter jets and bombers were instructed by the air boss to perform maneuvers towards the southwest of the airstrip before coming back, as mentioned in the recorded audio of the airshow radio communications.

    In close proximity to the 500-foot display boundary, the air boss subsequently instructed the fighter formation to switch to a single-file formation, in order to fly ahead of the bombers and continue onwards.

    The bombers were instructed to fly along the 1,000-feet display line.

    There were no injuries on the ground that were reported. The incident occurred at approximately 1:22 p.M. In front of a large crowd. The fighter aircraft approached from the rear of the B-17G, hitting it on the left side just behind the wing section. As the formation of fighter planes approached the exhibition area, the P-63F was banking to the left.

    On airport premises, to the south of the Runway 31 approach end, the P-63F aircraft is depicted disintegrating in the images, while its components descend onto the grassy area. Various smartphones captured the collision from multiple perspectives, and these videos and still photographs were promptly shared on social media.

    The fire caused the bomber’s forward section and wing to catch fire, while the empennage aft caught fire as well. The impact caused the G-17B to split into two sections.

    Investigators had numerous pictures to examine, he stated. Numerous onlookers had already done so, providing investigators with numerous pictures to examine, he stated. In a press conference the day after the collision, NTSB investigator Michael Graham urged anyone who possessed video or photos of the incident to collaborate with investigators. Right after the incident, the NTSB sent a response team to Dallas.

    The empennage and rear fuselage of the B-17G were discovered to the southern region of the fighter’s wings. The wings of the fighter, on the other hand, were located slightly south of the primary B-17G wreckage. Within the debris field, investigators were able to locate all significant flight control components for both aircraft. The wreckage was meticulously documented, photographed, and labeled by the team of investigators who dedicated multiple days to the task. According to the NTSB, the debris field exhibited a general alignment along a magnetic heading of 320 degrees.

    The investigators noted that the fighter did not have any record of information for the accident flight. The B-17G had an Avidyne IFD540 unit, which contained relevant information about the position for the accident. The GPS units were recovered and submitted to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory. Both aircraft were equipped with onboard GPS and ADS-B. Neither of the aircraft contained a black box, which they were not required to have.

    The remains of both aircraft have been kept by NTSB for additional investigation.

    The NTSB emphasized that the information provided is preliminary and subject to change as the investigation progresses. It is anticipated that a final report on the accident will be published within the next 18 months.