Terry Barker Obituary, Death – Six people were killed when two historic airplanes collided in midair at a Dallas air show on Saturday, including two, dearly loved men from the Keller area who had been pilots for decades, according to authorities and the victims’ acquaintances. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins confirmed the crash’s death toll was six in a tweet early on Sunday, despite the fact that the police have not publicly named any of the deceased. Two World War II-era aircraft, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra, collided in the accident.

Two of the B-17 crew members were former members of Allied Pilots, the union that represents pilots working for American Airlines. They were Terry Barker, 67, and Len Root, 66, according to the union. According to their acquaintances and social media accounts, Root and Barker were both centered near Keller. According to his LinkedIn page, Root had been employed as a manager and commercial pilot for the Gulf Coast Wing of the Commemorative Air Force since October 2021.

Prior to that, he spent more than 35 years as an American Airlines flight director and program controller for the flight management system. At Florida’s Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, he also pursued studies in aviation law and business. According to a Facebook post by the city’s mayor, Armin Mizani, Barker was a former member of the Keller city council who was also an Army veteran, spouse, and parent.

Terry Barker was well-liked by many, according to Mizani. He was a friend, and I frequently sought his advice. His enthusiasm for the town was evident even after he stopped flying for American Airlines and sitting on the City Council. A Veterans Day display of 1,776 American flags will continue for an additional week in Barker’s honor, according to Mizani, in front of Keller Town Hall.

Barker met John Baker, a former American Airlines coworker when they were both based out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport several years ago. Until Barker resigned around two years ago after 36 years with the airline, both were training instructors for tech airmen. He said Barker was a family man with a servant’s heart, telling The Dallas Morning News.

“He was truly a fan of aviation,” Baker said, noting that Barker spent a lot of time restoring a Beechcraft AT-6 in a hangar at the Northwest Regional Airport in Denton County.

According to Baker, Barker joined the commemorative air force and began flying the B-17 after he retired. He had excellent interpersonal and communication skills, according to Baker. He was highly professional and has a fantastic sense of humor. Dallas Executive Airport was supposed to host the Wings Over Dallas air show from Friday to Sunday. After the collision on Saturday, it was called off.

The event billed itself as the biggest World War II aviation display in North Texas. On Saturday, thousands of people watched from the airfield and neighboring businesses, including enthusiasts for American military history and World War II who came to see the display because so few World War II aircraft are still flying.

Around 11 a.m., the show’s flight demonstration segment got underway. Saturday local time, as per the timetable provided on the air show website. A parade of many types of bombers, including the B-17, was mentioned as one of the events. A fighter escort with a P-63 was the next item on the agenda. The scheduling makes it unclear whether both activities were supposed to happen at the same time.

A reliable bomber that fought in both World War II theaters was the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. According to Boeing, more than 12,000 B-17s in a variety of types were built. After the war finished in 1945, the majority were destroyed. Few are still around now. According to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, P-63s were created during World War II but were never used in battle. There were more than 3,300 made. A lend-lease deal allowed for the sale of thousands of aircraft to the Soviet Union, where they were occasionally used for training.

A video that has been shared on social media shows the P-63 banking and slamming with the straight-flying B-17. The B-17 was quickly split in half, with the front half of the fuselage erupting in flames as it reached the ground, and the P-63 was instantly destroyed. Authorities said that no one was hurt or killed while on the ground. Several local and federal organizations, including Dallas Fire-Rescue, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Federal Aviation Administration sent representatives to survey the crash site on Sunday morning.

Investigations into aircraft crashes are infamously drawn-out and difficult. The NTSB website states that crash investigations can take up to five years to complete. The typical period lasts between two and three years. It’s unclear if the fact that Saturday’s collision was widely captured on camera will quicken the investigation’s pace.