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Dallas air show crash

Old 12th Nov 2022, 22:29
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Dallas air show crash

Crash at Dallas airshow. Graphic footage all over twitter and media which I am not going to attach. A P-63 Kingcobra collides with a B17 bomber, the Kingcobra disintegrates and the B17 splits in 2 and hits the ground in a fireball. All over very quickly. Utterly terrible to watch. Condolences to families of everyone involved.

Seems to be already causing further controversy about air shows and old planes. Can I ask how others here feel about airshows and old planes? Some here may even have participated as these shows. My grandfather took me to quite a few as a child. Never saw an accident and they seemed days of great excitement to me as a kid, but I'd quickly admit to not knowing much about current day airshows at all , and I've no idea how most people on here would feel about them now.

Last edited by auldlassie; 12th Nov 2022 at 22:30. Reason: spelling corrections.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 22:34
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It may later be proven that the P-63 was not controllable, but at the moment it doesn't look like the aircraft had much of anything to do with it - and there's a thread in close calls. Probably best to keep discussion to that thread.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 22:39
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Watching it from the rear I doubt the pilot could see the B17 as his nose and wings would be masking it… absolutely tragic

film from the rear of the B17 ( some foul language )

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Old 12th Nov 2022, 22:46
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There are aerial pictures of the wreckage, see

https://www.fox4news.com/news/dallas...-airport-crash
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 22:49
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In the left hand turn, with that amount of bank, the P-63 was blind to anything outside of his turn radius. He wouldn't have seen the B-17 until immediately before he impacted at the trailing edge of the wing/fuselage join and sliced the tail off the B-17. With no tail, the bomber just nose dived in. It was all over for everyone in less than a couple of seconds, the P-63 was probably reduced to debris after the impact.

The rules of the air dictate that when converging with an aircraft from the right, you give way to the right (the B-17) but of course, that assumes you know there is something there in the first place. It was the P-63s pilot's responsibility to clear the turn, but what was the ATC status in all this? Was there an Air Show frequency? Was there positive control of the display, had it been rehearsed and briefed to a display coordinator? Or was it "turn up and give us a show?". The real tragedy is that when the accident report is finalized, it will not contain a single new element that couldn't have been cut and paste from many of the previous Air Show collisions.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 23:02
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Both planes were reportedly based in Houston. A Commemorative Air Force spokesperson stated five persons were believed to have been aboard the B-17 and one aboard the P-63. There were no paying pax aboard the B-17 during the display.

Two aircraft out of Houston collide at Dallas Air Show - KPRC-TV Houston
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 23:28
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Different angle, different perspective. Taxying Stearman was lucky.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 23:42
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I can’t believe the Cobra pilot was coming in that fast with so many planes around him. Like he was the only one in that airspace.
Sad loss in lives a planes, thats for sure.
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 00:06
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Either dreadfully briefed and/or an amazingly careless bit of flying of the P63!
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 00:19
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Originally Posted by unmanned_droid View Post
It may later be proven that the P-63 was not controllable, but at the moment it doesn't look like the aircraft had much of anything to do with it - and there's a thread in close calls. Probably best to keep discussion to that thread.
The P-63 is following pilot input immediately before the impact, I doubt that there was a control issue prior to impact.

Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Watching it from the rear I doubt the pilot could see the B17 as his nose and wings would be masking it… absolutely tragic
film from the rear of the B17 ( some foul language )
https://twitter.com/Tendar/status/1591532648509349888
  • GLOC is unlikely but not impossible.
  • A medical event is always possible but that would tend to result in lowering g loads, and that would cause the flight path to degrade in a high bank turn, there is no onset of a descent part way through the turn. Keeping a high bank and reducing g reduces the rate of turn and that is not obviously evident, so the plane is likely to be under closed loop pilotage up to impact.
  • assuming that this was accidental, then the P-63 seems to be working towards a rejoin of the P-51 and other preceding little friends, and that puts the line of sight for the pilot of the P-63 above his head, and to the left, well away from Texas Raider's. I would think that target fixation on the rejoin of relatively hard to see aircraft against the ground background may have distracted the P-63 pilot from his basic requirement to keep clear of what should be obvious traffic that he/she is overtaking.
This hints to a bad set up of flight paths, whether preflight or inflight variation from plan. Would be interesting to know the pilots experience in flying mixed formations and in formation flying, rejoins etc.

A brutally bad day. It is part of the heritage to keep the memory alive of what prior generations did, these airshows are worthy of respect and continuation. Lets not do this particular evolution again.


2's In, you are correct. I assumed the P63 was faster than the B-17, there is not much difference in speed, and post #37 shows that the P63 was belly up to the B17 for at least the last 5-6 seconds. To see the traffic, the speed difference would need to be higher.

Last edited by fdr; 13th Nov 2022 at 03:20. Reason: 2 in is correct, the assumption that the P63 was faster is incorrect on my part, the relative speeds were lower. #37 video
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 00:37
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This is so sad. One of the things which makes it sad is the apparent appetite of audiences and pilots to see historically valuable flying antiques flown aggressively. Can we not just be content with seeing these magnificent airplanes simply fly at all, without having to see them maneuvered in a way which increases risk so much? We pilots should not need to be regulated into gentle flying, it should be pride and instinct to fly antiques with extra care and caution, considering their historical value. For the few antique airplanes I have flown, it's always been "fly it gently, as though it's irreplaceable"!

Absolutely nothing in our industry gets better because an aggressive pilot flies any aircraft and collides with another aircraft, or the ground, it's bad all the way around. I worry that some pilots are not afraid of f**king up enough to just fly it gently!

When I worked with a well known US airplane restorer, formation flying (and thus air to air photography with their airplanes) was forbidden. This was because the progenitor of the excellent restoration process and STC for these airplanes was killed in an air to air with one of his own airplanes. I saw their point! Just fly the plane, forget the showing off!
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 00:54
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They really are irreplaceable.....especially the people in them when they are lost.

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Old 13th Nov 2022, 01:01
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
They really are irreplaceable.....especially the people in them when they are lost.
Irreplaceable, the aircraft could be rebuilt / replicated, not so the people. Sad.
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 02:22
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
Holly CRAP! What was that Kingcobra pilot thinking? That almost looks intentional!
In total agreement.
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 02:50
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A walk around of the accident P-63:


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Old 13th Nov 2022, 02:52
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The pre display briefing of the 2021 show. Briefing starts at the 5.25 mark:


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Old 13th Nov 2022, 02:56
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A longer view of a posted video:

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Old 13th Nov 2022, 02:56
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Two's in - You're absolutely tight, he was blind in the turn. I can answer the rest of your questions about airshow coordination as I have been part of flying in that CAF show in the past myself. No ATC, control is with the airboss and there has been an extensive morning briefing maybe lasting an hour or more on what looks like madness but is actually a well choreographed show and all you hear during this performance is the airboss making sure everybody is doing what was briefed, he's talking non-stop for 20 minutes giving directions. I've been in this with 63 other airplanes. There are groups of trainers, fighters, bombers and cargos that work together. But... we're only human and there will always be one pilot out of synch or just "not get it".
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 04:05
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Professional Pilots content - CNN quotes Allied Pilots Association as saying two of the B-17 crew were retirees from American Airlines.

Article gives the names, for those with a desire to know them. Not my place to publicize them here.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/12/us/da...show-collision
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 05:15
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Mechanical problems?

Originally Posted by Two's in View Post
In the left hand turn, with that amount of bank, the P-63 was blind to anything outside of his turn radius. He wouldn't have seen the B-17 until immediately before he impacted at the trailing edge of the wing/fuselage join and sliced the tail off the B-17. With no tail, the bomber just nose dived in. It was all over for everyone in less than a couple of seconds, the P-63 was probably reduced to debris after the impact.

The rules of the air dictate that when converging with an aircraft from the right, you give way to the right (the B-17) but of course, that assumes you know there is something there in the first place. It was the P-63s pilot's responsibility to clear the turn, but what was the ATC status in all this? Was there an Air Show frequency? Was there positive control of the display, had it been rehearsed and briefed to a display coordinator? Or was it "turn up and give us a show?". The real tragedy is that when the accident report is finalized, it will not contain a single new element that couldn't have been cut and paste from many of the previous Air Show collisions.
I am wondering if the P-63 might've had a mechanical problem or even pilot medical event? My thinking:
1 - This group does a lot of shows
2 - Pilot knew there was a B-17 in the air, wouldn't he have made some attempt to know where all his fellow flyers were at any given time?
3 - The plane seems to be going kind of fast and from certain angles I've watched, is also losing altitude pretty fast.
4 - It just looks out of control to me.

Caveat - I'm not a pilot, but my son is a fighter pilot for the USAF.
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