So sad to see the plane crash in Texas. One less B-17

As the titles says. Sad day for all those involved.

Indeed horrifying video. How something like that can even happen on a clear day like today. Almost went to the show but went trainspotting instead. I’d photographed that B-17 more than once. While its loss is indeed sad, there had to have been at least four or five people killed in that crash. The news is still trying to say “No word on injuries.”
No one survived that.

I wonder who that dumbass in the single engine plane was …
It doesn’t look as if he got dragged into turbulence like
the chase plane that brought down an XB-70 did.

I wonder why on earth he flew so close, re-enacting the German last ditch efforts using ramming tactics???

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Last I heard, 5 died on board the B-17 and 1 in the P-39

Jesus, that’s horrific…

Go to New York Post and watch the main video.

There are two videos…and Robin posted one of the collision and not the flight paths that lead to the collision. But the “Oh, no!” video shows the P-39 curving and diving down towards the B-17. I don’t think the P-39 pilot even saw the B-17 as it was below him.

The video that Robin posted doesn’t show the flight paths of the planes involved as there were more than two planes flying in the area. Make sure you turn on the sound in the video.

Sadly, I don’t think they ever knew what hit them. The video recorded it all though and the “Oh, no!” video is gold to the impending investigation.

Just horrible. If the P-39 pilot maintained flat altitude like the other fast fighters around it, it probably would not have happened.

This video is helpful (may already be in the links above). This style of tail chase airshow can be dangerous if everyone isn’t on the same circle. Seems he wasn’t.

Also appears to me the P-63 was significantly faster than the P-51 in front of it and therefore was banking harder to get in line. Visibility is terrible in these planes with the big nose and cockpit over the wings, so he easily could have put himself in a position where he never saw the B-17. Sad.

Clearly pilot error. What’s particularly frustrating is that this type of collision is flight-school-level stuff when flying a low-wing airplane. You check the base-to-final turn for exactly this reason.

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Does anyone have any images of the B-17? I’m just curious to know which B-17 it was.

Thanks for the link with the other viewing angle

One thing is certain though, he won’t be making that mistake again …

Edit: Another sad case where one persons mistake takes the lives of others

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This one I would assume.


Matches the pictures and it’s a CAF plane and it was a CAF show.

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Its was part of this group. but the site is acting up or pulled down.

@Spitfire pretty sure thats the one. I think there are only three stationed in Texas?

Edit: there was only three actively in the U.S. flying

Sounds right. I don’t keep close track of them though.

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I think the Texas Raiders one. I almost went to see this and ride in it about two years ago. But had reservations on doing it after the other one lost about 3 years ago in Connecticut done after nine o nine.

Eerily both had red tails and tips.

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Robin, that’s some rather pathetic comments you’ve felt compelled to post. People died yesterday!
Maybe you should rethink that attitude and back off. You’ve obviously never flown an aircraft or you would have known what Spitfire posted is what more than likely occurred.

I agree with that assessment, he did not have clear visual on his target, especially at that speed.

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i personally think we have reached a point that all of these WW2 era aircraft should be grounded. every year there seems to be some sort of accident reducing their small numbers to even fewer.

my condolences to the families who lost loved ones.


You’re not alone in that sentiment, but I have to respectfully disagree. This accident has nothing to do with the aircrafts’ status as WWII aircraft—as I mentioned above, it appears (to me, at least) like a textbook low wing aircraft visibility mistake. Could just as easily have been a Piper Cherokee training aircraft in a traffic pattern accident.

Second, although you didn’t, most folks who agree with you point to the airframe age: supposedly 70-plus years. That’s a bit misleading however. These planes have been restored, often from wrecks, and are 90%+ brand new materials. In many many cases the only 1940s material is the registration data plate (which does prompt more than a little controversy in the warbird restoration world). They’re essentially new aircraft. Plus, it’s not like the FAA doesn’t have hundreds of pages of regs dealing with these planes.

Unfortunately, accidents like this are usually highly visible and publicized because the aircraft are flown comparatively less than normal general aviation aircraft and usually in large public venues. As a percentage of all aircraft accidents, they’re not a notable percentage.

Now, if your point is they’re too valuable to risk by flying, I can see that. I still think they should be flying, but I see your point. They are valuable indeed.

Tl;dr - WWII aircraft are not uniquely dangerous and in most cases, are essentially brand new airplanes. Sampling error makes their accidents seem more numerous.


i respect your argument that it could have easily been in a piper cherokee but my arguement is that their is an ample supply of piper cherokee aircraft where as there is a very small number of B17’s and that number has just been reduced even further.
i understand that the aircraft are practically rebuilt and that accidents will happen regardless of the aircraft type but no one is manufacturing B17’s anymore and if we are to preserve these vintage aircraft for future generations then they need to grounded and kept safely in a museum.

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What I find surprising is the lack of comment on air traffic control’s role in this tragedy. These planes all have radios, and SOMEBODY has responsibility for keeping them at a safe distance - they clearly were asleep on the job this time. I shudder to think what the risk assessment for this “tail chase” display looked like, or who exactly is for the chop because they signed it off. I expect there will be more draconian rules for airshows coming along shortly…