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Dallas air show crash

Old 14th Nov 2022, 08:42
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I flew the Collings Foundation B-17 at airshows in 1985 and the possibility then of collision was our primary worry. Of course back then the shows were less well organised, and the fighters were often operated by guys with no formal military or formation flying instruction.

What a sad thing.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 10:43
  #102 (permalink)  
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Ugly Jet Captain: probably the best post in here and yes when catching up you focus on keeping sight with the preceding aircraft. It more and more looks like the B17 was most probably not in the airspace block where it was supposed to be according to the plan., but we'll see.

@ Flying_Scotsman :
If the "Air Boss" is talking continuously for 20 minutes
where did you get that from ? is there a link to an audio recording ( e.g Air leaks) of the Air Boss frequency ? Many spotters on shows have receivers and listen to the display frequency ,
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 13:13
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Actor Jimmy Stewart's recent biography did a deep dive on his WW2 experiences as a B24 pilot. The frequency of midair collisions between friendly aircraft was astounding.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 13:16
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher View Post
Ugly Jet Captain: probably the best post in here and yes when catching up you focus on keeping sight with the preceding aircraft. It more and more looks like the B17 was most probably not in the airspace block where it was supposed to be according to the plan., but we'll see.

@ Flying_Scotsman :
where did you get that from ? is there a link to an audio recording ( e.g Air leaks) of the Air Boss frequency ? Many spotters on shows have receivers and listen to the display frequency ,
Post #38 has some background to how this show is run from someone who has displayed there in the past. They mention the Ai Boss control.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 13:37
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Originally Posted by Flying_Scotsman View Post
Post #38 has some background to how this show is run from someone who has displayed there in the past. They mention the Ai Boss control.
Thanks I had missed that bit. , although not sure if he referred to that particular show , or one of his past experience. On all the shows I have made in Europe, the display frequency has very few interventions from the ground. Very surprised of that comment, because as you said , for me if the Air Boss needs to speak continuously then the planning is either not done properly or is not followed. by the pilots.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 15:48
  #106 (permalink)  
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Agh, that's rough.... Sad for the beautiful birds and the amazing aviators lost in this accident (

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Old 14th Nov 2022, 15:50
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher View Post
Thanks I had missed that bit. , although not sure if he referred to that particular show , or one of his past experience. On all the shows I have made in Europe, the display frequency has very few interventions from the ground. Very surprised of that comment, because as you said , for me if the Air Boss needs to speak continuously then the planning is either not done properly or is not followed. by the pilots.
Exactly right. To ensure there is a quiet "Display Frequency" at smaller fields which have only Air/Ground or AFISO services we will always provide a temporary frequency to ensure that the display crews are not bothered by normal ATC when displaying.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 16:09
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The P-63 appears to be aligning with the parade line of the bombers, and not the line of P-51s. Additionally the P-63 was likely to overshoot the bomber parade line by some distance based upon its bank angle and relative flight direction with the B-17 at time of impact. For highly experienced professional pilots this seems very hard to explain without pilot incapacitation or mechanical failure.

Last edited by dbenj; 14th Nov 2022 at 16:47.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 16:21
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Originally Posted by Australopithecus View Post
I flew the Collings Foundation B-17 at airshows in 1985 and the possibility then of collision was our primary worry. Of course back then the shows were less well organized, and the fighters were often operated by guys with no formal military or formation flying instruction.
Any time multiple groups are flying and doing different patterns, the risk goes up when an error is made and errors are inevitably made. Groups can end up focusing on their own flight and not be aware of something going wrong elsewhere.

This accident brought back memories of just this year, where I was flying a smaller warbird in an airshow with two other aircraft that involved two separate distinct patterns, with separate flyby's, which prevents gaps in the display. We ended up on an unplanned head to head pass with the other aircraft which fortunately was recognized by the person in the aircraft I was chasing, which allowed spacing to be made.

Procedures were reviewed and changed for the next day. Interestingly, the CAA authorities, there to monitor the safety of the show, were quite satisfied with the overall show in which the incident happened.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 21:01
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Originally Posted by dbenj View Post
The P-63 appears to be aligning with the parade line of the bombers, and not the line of P-51s. Additionally the P-63 was likely to overshoot the bomber parade line by some distance based upon its bank angle and relative flight direction with the B-17 at time of impact. For highly experienced professional pilots this seems very hard to explain without pilot incapacitation or mechanical failure.
Agree that the -63 trajectory would have taken it well outside the other aircraft. Even if the -17 was a bit outside of its lane, the -63 looked like a car sliding out around a turn headed for the wall . . . .
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 21:08
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I never cease to be astonished at the imagination and variety of fantastical excuses people manage to invent for aircraft accidents.

For highly experienced professional pilots this seems very hard to explain without pilot incapacitation or mechanical failure.
Highly experienced Professional pilots seldom concur with double jeopardy 'theories'. In the sim double jeopardy situatons are nowadays (thankfully) almost exclusively banned. In 99.8% of cases if it looks like a duck, flies like a duck and quacks like a duck it almost certainly isn't an almost extinct lesser spotted golden eared fantasybird.

No pun intended, but the report on this will without doubt indicate this tragic suituation was a complete 'turkey'.

Virtually no-one pulling a tight turn to follow in a tailchase looks below and to the side of themselves - even if they could in an aeroplane with as renowned poor visibility as the P63 - he'd have been fixated on up, ahead and left. The B17 was probably obscured beneath the engine cowling and under his right ear. And no criticism intended, if as reported he was an Airline pilot did he really have the instinctive continuously scanning rubber-neck lookout of a fighter pilot? As an ex mil pilot gone airlines I found to my chagrin that bollockings ensued at the gliding club due to my almost total loss of basic active lookout...

None, all or some of these thoughts may be relevant.

Texas Raiders has a place in my heart. She was the first aeroplane I ever turned a spanner on. Changing some hydraulic pipes as a volunteer at Harlingen in 1977 which kickstarted my entire career. I wonder if they were still there...

Last edited by meleagertoo; 14th Nov 2022 at 21:31.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 21:12
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Seems to be sufficient data points for the flight sim people to put together an in-flight cockpit view the P-63 driver would have seen. Can somebody link to it when it comes out please.

Last edited by Flying Binghi; 14th Nov 2022 at 22:58. Reason: remove smiley, add please.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 21:23
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Here she is, easter 1977 at Harlingen.
Its hard to reflect that in those days film was expensive and every shot cost money - I spent a mnonth there and took only about two rolls of slide film plus one of B & W. What a historcial opportunity missed!







Last edited by meleagertoo; 14th Nov 2022 at 21:34.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 22:08
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Dear CAF Supporters,

Today I have the sad task of sharing the names of those who went west at the CAF Wings Over Dallas WWII Airshow on Saturday, November 12, 2022.

In this email, you will find the names of the crewmen, ways to support the families, and resources available for families and friends. We appreciate the incredible support and condolences pouring in and are relaying your messages to all impacted by this tragic event.

Sincerely,

Hank Coates
CAF President/CEO

B-17 Texas Raiders & P-63 Kingcobra Aircrew


Terry Barker
Keller, TX
Dan Ragan
Dallas, TX

Craig Hutain
Montgomery, TX
Leonard "Len" Root
Fort Worth, TX

Kevin "K5" Michels
Austin, TX
Curt Rowe
Hilliard, OH

Ways to Support the Families


The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Foundation*, in association with the CAF, is accepting donations for the families of those involved in the accident. To donate, please 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 your tax adviser to confirm the deductibility of your contribution. EIN: 38-2885409

Mental Health Resources


This is a tremendous loss for our organization. We encourage those impacted to seek our support, please contact your local Red Cross Disaster Mental Health or community mental health professional. You can also reach out to the National Disaster Distress Helpline by calling or texting to 1(800) 985-5990.


Copyright © 2022 Commemorative Air Force, All rights reserved.

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Old 14th Nov 2022, 22:11
  #115 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
Here she is, easter 1977 at Harlingen.
Its hard to reflect that in those days film was expensive and every shot cost money - I spent a month there and took only about two rolls of slide film plus one of B & W. What a historcial opportunity missed!
Nice pictures thanks for sharing.
I saw her at Midland Odessa in 98. The dessert sure is cold in the morning. She did her Tora Tora set piece with one wheel down and trailing smoke.
I always saw her as one of the flag ships of the CAF along with Sentimental Journey. So very sad she has been lost along with her crew and the Cobra. The CAF must be heart broken.
Hopefully it's not the final straw for that wing.
Three B17's lost in 10 years is quite a high attrition rate for the type. With groundings there can't be more than five or so still flying.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 22:22
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It would have been nice for the Boeing website to put a well-worded tribute up to the dedicated aviation team who showcase their products from 80 years ago.

However, CEO David Calhoun is wholly featured at an investors' conference, doubtless seen as far more important. Nothing on their news pages.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 22:29
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Fokker’s point is, I believe, that the unfortunate death of colleagues should not be turned in to a flight sim “game” and posted on here as some sort of vicarious speculation.
And he’s right. Wholeheartedly.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 22:44
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Originally Posted by dbenj View Post
The P-63 appears to be aligning with the parade line of the bombers, and not the line of P-51s. Additionally the P-63 was likely to overshoot the bomber parade line by some distance based upon its bank angle and relative flight direction with the B-17 at time of impact. For highly experienced professional pilots this seems very hard to explain without pilot incapacitation or mechanical failure.
Have you read the post's. Loss of SA combined with lack of visibility due to cowling and wing in an increasing tight turning rejoin is highly more likely.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 22:51
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Originally Posted by MENELAUS View Post
Fokker’s point is, I believe, that the unfortunate death of colleagues should not be turned in to a flight sim “game” and posted on here as some sort of vicarious speculation.
And he’s right. Wholeheartedly.
I see the posts are gone now. Seems I should have added more backgrounding to my post..

My reference to flight sims is not about making a ‘game’ of it, more to have a better understanding of the pilots eye view of the situation. There has been a lot of discussion about it in this thread.

Reading the comments to this thread I still believe the P-63 driver would not have initially noted the B-17 due to it appearing stationary reference the green background. I am though agreeing with the assessment of others that in the last few seconds the B-17 would have been hidden under the nose of the P-63.

I am not making any judgement as to who should have been where, when, and at what height, nor the incapacity or otherwise of the pilots. To me, that is for the accident investigators to decide.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 23:21
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From the various videos and ADS-B records, the NTSB will be able to produce video reconstructions from various viewpoints including from the cockpits.
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