CNN — Two World War II military planes collided in mid-air at Dallas Executive Airport during an air show on Saturday afternoon, killing at least two people on board, officials said. More than 40 fire brigades were called to the scene after two vintage planes, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra, crashed at the Wings Over Dallas air show. In a video of the crash, which the mayor of Dallas described as “heartbreaking,” the plane was shattered in the air after the crash, then fell to the ground within seconds and then engulfed in flames. Here are the latest updates from an investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board scheduled to arrive at the scene on Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration said the crash occurred around 1:20 p.m. on Saturday. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the number of casualties has yet to be confirmed. The Allied Pilots Association, a trade union representing American Airlines pilots, has identified two retired pilots and former union members of the pilots killed in the crash. APA reported on social media that former members Terry Barker and Len Root were crew members of the B-17 Flying Fortress during the air show. “Our hearts are turned to family, friends and colleagues, past and present,” the union said. APA has been providing professional counseling services from its headquarters in Fort Worth after the incident. At a press conference on Saturday, Hank Coates, president of Memorial Air Force, an organization that preserves and maintains vintage military aircraft, told reporters that the B-17 “usually has four or five crew members. That’s what was in the aircraft.” The P-63 is a “single-controlled fighter-type aircraft.” “Usually you could say the crew was on board,” Coates said. “I cannot disclose the number of people in the manifest or their names in the manifest until they are released by the NTSB.” The Memorial Air Force has confirmed that both aircraft are based in Houston. The group said in a statement that it was “working with local authorities and the FAA”, adding that “there is no information on the condition of the crew as emergency services are currently handling the accident.” The rubble from the crash included the Dallas Executive Airport grounds, Interstate 67 and a nearby strip mall, but no spectators or others on the ground were reported injured. The B-17 was part of the Memorial Air Force Collection nicknamed “Texas Raiders” and was kept on a hanger in Conroe, Texas, near Houston. It was one of only 45 or so fully surviving examples of the model, of which only 9 were able to fly. The P-63 was much rarer. About 14 examples are known to have survived, four of which are capable of flying in the United States, one of which is owned by an Air Force Monument. More than 12,000 B-17s were produced by Boeing, Douglas Aircraft and Lockheed between 1936 and 1945, nearly 5,000 were lost during the war, most of the rest were scrapped in the early 1960s. About 3,300 P-63s were produced by Bell Aircraft between 1943 and 1945 and were used primarily by the Soviet Air Force during World War II. The FAA led an investigation into the airshow crash on Saturday, but it was due to be handed over to the NTSB when the team arrived at the scene, Coates said. On Saturday evening, the NTSB said it was sending a team to investigate the conflict. A team of technical experts regularly dispatched to the crash site is expected to arrive on Sunday, the Aviation Administration said. According to Coates, the individuals flying the aircraft at the CAF airshow are volunteers and follow a rigorous training process. Most of them are airline pilots, retired airline pilots or retired military pilots. “The maneuvers they were going through were not dynamic at all,” Coates said. “It was what we called ‘Bombers on Parade’.” It just doesn’t,” Coates said. “I can say that it is a great aircraft and it is safe. Very well maintained. The pilots are very well trained. It’s hard to talk about it because I know all these people are family and good friends.” Mayor Johnson tweeted shortly after the accident: “As many of you have seen, there was a terrible tragedy in our city during today’s air show. Many details are currently unknown or remain unconfirmed.” “The videos are heartbreaking. In a separate tweet, Prime Minister Johnson said: “Pray for the souls who have taken to heaven today to entertain and educate our families.” According to the organizers’ website, the Wings Over Dallas event, which was scheduled to run until Sunday, has been canceled.
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