The cause of a mystery air collision in Dallas, Texas, that left six people dead may never be solved due to the lack of flight data records, according to officials
By Benjamin Lynch News Reporter
The reason behind a tragic plane crash that left six people dead may never be fully understood, officials have said.
Michael Graham, of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that neither aircraft that crashed at a Dallas, Texas air show last week had a black box.
Investigators rely on key information recorded in black boxes o data flight recorders in the aftermath of a crash so they can try and work out what caused it.
In a press conference on Sunday, Graham explained the investigation would be difficult without the data they need.
“Unfortunately, many of the general aviation accidents that we see out there, there is no flight data recorder or CVR, and many times there is no video, so it’s very difficult for us to determine the probable cause,” he said.
“There are times we cannot determine the probable cause of an accident.”
Instead, the NTSB are likely to rely on “very critical” pictures and photographs taken by spectators at the event and will try to work out why both the aircraft were flying at the same altitude.
In a horrifying video of the accident at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow at Dallas Executive Airport, the two aircraft appeared to fly into each other, causing each of them to fall to the ground and explode.
Data recorders are required as standard for commercial airlines. A number of other air operations, such as on commuter or tour aircraft or vintage planes, are used in an optional capacity.
The two aircraft involved in the Dallas crash were a Boeing B–17G Flying Fortress, nearly 90 years old, and Bell P-63 Kingcobra, used by Russia in World War 2.
“Neither aircraft was equipped with a flight data recorder or a cockpit data recorder,” the NTSB said.
Last month, the NTSB said: “The NTSB believes other types of passenger-carrying commercial aircraft, such as charter planes and air tours, should be equipped with data, audio, and video recording devices.”
The Allied Pilots Association identified two of the six people killed, named as Terry Barker and Len Root.
Barker, a former council member from Keller, Texas, and Root were crew on the Flying Fortress.
Keller Mayor Armin Mizani said on Sunday: “Keller is grieving as we have come to learn that husband, father, Army veteran, and former Keller City Councilman Terry Barker was one of the victims of the tragic crash at the Dallas Air Show.
“Terry Barker was beloved by many.”
Two other men, Major Curtis J. Rowe and Colonel Pete Bowden were also named as among those killed.
According to Fox 4, the late Houston-based pilot Craig Hutain piloted the Kingcobra.