Wings Over Dallas Plane Crash Victims Names Released

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Wings Over Dallas B17
B-17 Flying Fortress at Wings Over Dallas 2021 photo by Chris Waits

The tragic mid-air collision of two vintage planes at Wings Over Dallas Air Show Saturday killed all six people on board: Terry Barker, Craig Hutain, Kevin Michels, Dan Ragan, Leonard Root, and Curt Rowe were killed in the crash. Five crew members were onboard the B-17 Flying Fortress (one of the last five B-17 vintage planes in existence) and one pilot was onboard the Bell P-63 Kingcobra.

Crowds of onlookers at the Commemorative Air Force’s annual event were stunned by the horrendous crash. While debris littered Highway 67 South and giant smoke plumes filled the air, no one in the crowd or on the highway was injured. Graphic videos of the crash at Dallas Executive Airport (formerly Red Bird Airport) have since gone viral.

Wings over Dallas victims names released
B-17 Flying Fortress 2021 photo by Chris Waits

CAF President/CEO

Hank Coates, CAF President/CEO writes, “Today I have the sad task of sharing the names of those who went west at the CAF Wings Over Dallas WWII Airshow on Saturday, November 12, 2022.”

Along with the names of the crewmen, Coates lists ways to support the families, and resources available for families and friends.

“We appreciate the incredible support and condolences pouring in and are relaying your messages to all impacted by this tragic event,” he said.

The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Foundation*, in association with the CAF, is accepting donations for the families of those involved in the accident. To donate, please go to https://airshowfoundation.org/support/, select “Donation in honor or memory of an individual” and type “CAF” as the “Name of Memorialized”. 100% of the money collected through this effort will be provided to the families as emergency funding, with all received funds being split equally amongst those families impacted.

Wings Over Dallas Crash Video

Fox 4 TV says video from a cell phone shows the P-63 Kingcobra crashing into the B-17 Flying Fortress, before bursting into flames. They also reported that NTSB is expected to file a preliminary report in four to six weeks, but the final report may not be completed for up to 18 months.

Captain Terry Barker, an Army veteran, American Airlines pilot for 36 years, and a former Keller City Councilman, was killed in the crash. Also killed were Craig Hutain was from Montgomery, Kevin “K5” Michels from Austin, Dan Ragan from Dallas, and Leonard “Len” Root from Fort Worth, along with Curt Rowe from Hilliard, OH.

Commemorative Air Force

“The CAF began with a single plane. “Lloyd Nolen and a small group of ex-service pilots from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas pooled their money to purchase a P-51 Mustang in 1957. They formed a loosely defined organization to share the pleasure and expense of maintaining the Mustang. A short while later, the group added a pair of F8F Bearcats to the P-51 Mustang. At this point, the mission of the CAF became clear: save an example of every aircraft that flew during World War II ~ a mission no one else was undertaking.
What started as a hobby became an urgent objective to preserve history,” from their website.

Aviation fans, educators, and history buffs from all over North Texas (including my family), have enjoyed attending Wings Over Dallas every year. It’s an opportunity to meet dedicated volunteers, veterans, and knowledgeable historic reenactors who teach future generations more about the kinds of planes and troops our country sent to WWII. We join them in praying for the families of those dedicated aviators lost in the crash, and for those on the ground who witnessed the horrific event. On a personal note, my family is thankful that our seven-year-old granddaughter and her parents left the air show an hour before the crash.

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