Aircraft moved to ‘secure location,’ recovery of B-17 slowed from rain delays as investigators hunt for answers

A damaged plane remains in the open field at the Dallas Executive Airport on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, after a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra crash a day earlier.

Lana Ferguson

The Dallas Morning News

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board combed through evidence at the Dallas crash site Monday, hoping to find answers as to what happened during the mid-air collision that killed six people days earlier.

On-the-ground investigative efforts are ongoing despite some slowdown from the weather, an official said late Monday afternoon.

The crash at the Dallas Executive Airport on Saturday involved two World War II-era planes, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra.

The six men killed — one pilot was in the P-63 while the five others were in the B-17 — were publicly identified by the Commemorative Air Force on Monday: Terry Barker, Leonard “Len” Root, Curtis “Curt” Rowe, Craig Hutain, Dan Ragan and Kevin “K5″ Michels.

They had decades of flight experience and were aviation enthusiasts. Some were military veterans and longtime commercial airline pilots.

“The NTSB was and is active on scene today,” Michael Graham, National Transportation Safety Board, said in a Monday news conference.

As of Monday morning, the wreckage of the P-63 was recovered and transported to a “secure location” for examination and analysis of the air frame and engines, Graham said. He also said the air show common frequency reporting was received by the agency and will be processed by investigative specialists.

Rain delayed further recovery of the B-17 but that process will continue Tuesday as long as weather permits, he said.

Although Graham said Sunday that neither aircraft was equipped with a flight data recorder, an electronic flight display from the B-17 and GPS navigational unit from the P-63 were later retrieved.

“The units from both aircrafts were damaged during the accident,” Graham said. “They’re both being sent to the NTSB’s recorder lab in Washington, D.C. to determine whether data and relevant information can be recovered from both units.”

The units may contain data such as the GPS location, possible altitude, and air speeds of the aircraft.

NTSB has also been reviewing photos and videos of the crash that were submitted to the agency from the public. The NTSB is also conducting interviews with Air Show personnel, reviewing pilot and maintenance records, and finalizing documentation, removal, and layout of the wreckage aircraft.

A preliminary report of the crash is expected in four to six weeks, Graham said. A full investigation could last 12 to 18 months before the final report is released.

Many other details are “too early to tell,” Graham previously said, including whether the crash was caused by a mechanical or pilot-induced error.

Anyone with videos or photos of the crash to share them with

Much of the debris around a damaged plane at the Dallas Executive Airport is removed on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, after a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra crash a day earlier.

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