The identities of the six victims killed in the mid-air crash at the Dallas air show last weekend have been released by the Commemorative Air Force non-profit organisation.
They have been identified as Terry Barker, Leonard Root, Craig Hutain, Kevin Michels, Curtis Rowe and Dan Ragan.
Between them, the men had over 10 decades of flying experience. All six were members of the Commemorative Air Force, a historical aviation society dedicated to the restoration and preservation of World War II aircraft.
The incident, seen by thousands of onlookers, saw a WWII-era Bell P-63 Kingcobra fly straight into a B-17 Flying Fortress before both fell to the ground and exploded into flames.
Yesterday he was flying to honor the greatest generation. Today, the Field of Honor in front of Keller Town Hall will remain standing an additional week in his honor.
Please join me in praying for strength and comfort for his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/97fniwCgH1
— Armin Mizani (@ArminMizaniTX) November 13, 2022
It’s not yet known whether a mechanical fault on either of the two aircraft prevented the pilots from making evasive manoeuvres.
Terry Barker, a retired American Airlines pilot, was the first to be publicly named among the deceased.
Barker was onboard the B-17 and was also an Army veteran who crewed helicopters during his military service.
Armin Mizani, the mayor of Keller, Texas, said his town was “grieving”, and his death of Barker was a “big loss in our community”.
John Cudahy, president of the International Council of Air Shows, said on Sunday, “It’s still too early to figure out what happened yesterday.
“I’ve watched the tape several times, and I can’t figure it out, and I’ve been doing this for 25 years.”
— DTX Daily (@dtxdaily) November 12, 2022
The city’s major, Eric Johnson, earlier called the incident “heartbreaking’ but said no spectators on the ground were injured.
“Please, say a prayer for the souls who took to the sky to entertain and educate our families today,” he said on Twitter.
The incident took place at the Wings Over Dallas air show at Dallas Executive Airport, around 10 miles south of downtown Dallas.
#BREAKING: New angle of the mid-air collision obtained by @WFAA shows B-17 and other aircraft flying formations at #WingsOverDallas at 1:21p today, when it was hit by a P-63 and fell to the ground over the airfield at Dallas Executive Airport (RBD). pic.twitter.com/6NAS93b3re
— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) November 12, 2022
The huge B-17 was the first Boeing military aircraft with a flight deck instead of an open cockpit and first saw combat in 1941 with the British RAF.
Boeing built nearly 7,000 in various models, while a further 5,700 were built by Douglas and Lockheed. Most were scrapped after the war, and only a few models survive today.
The smaller P-63 Kingcobra was developed by Bell during World War II and was primarily flown by the Soviet air forces.