NTSB: No altitude advice before Dallas deadly air show crash

An aviation export is pointing to some key findings in the recently released report from the NTSB on the Dallas air show crash.

One of the key findings from the NTSB says a group of historic fighter planes was told to fly ahead of a formation of bombers without any prior plan for coordinating altitude.

Six people were killed in this crash. They were pilots and crew members. Now, one expert says a common plan that should’ve been in place to prevent this was absent.

A preliminary NTSB report reveals what may have led to the deadly, mid-air collision at the Commemorative Air Force’s Wings Over Dallas Airshow last month at Dallas Executive Airport.

Dallas air show crash: No altitude deconflictions discussed before, during show, NTSB report shows

Retired Air Force and American Airlines pilot Chris Manno is not connected to the investigation. He highlights his major takeaway from the report: "there were no altitude deconfliction briefed before the flight or while the airplanes were in the air."

"So they did not prepare for the eventuality of having two aircraft at the same altitude at the same airspace," he said. "That’s a problem."

The NTSB says a total of eight planes were flying in two separate formations when the air boss directed both formations toward the show line. 

Dallas air show crash victims: What we know

"However, they had an intersecting flight paths, and there was no provision made to say we will not be at the same altitude," Manno said.

A smaller Bell P-63F King Cobra collided with a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress.

The Commemorative Air Force says its show was approved by the FAA. 

Manno says these FAA approvals, however, are typically given with a clear understanding.

"And that understanding would have to be that they had procedures in effect to make sure that no aircraft would come in contact or an intersecting flight path at the same altitude with another aircraft, but that didn’t happen," he said.

The NTSB says it’s still early in its investigation. It has not released an analysis or conclusion. 

A full report could take 12-18 months. 

Dallas air show crash victims: What we know

Manno believes there’s likely blame on the air show and the FAA for allowing it. 

"The main thing is to maintain separation and to know where all aircraft of the formation are," he said. "And if you don’t know where they are, then we have to have a deconfliction plan saying, ‘I’m going to 5,000 feet. I know they’re at 2,000, and we’ll sort this out.’ But this was a deconfliction plan that the NTSB said was never made before or during the show."

Three days after the crash, FOX 4 initiated an open records request with the FAA for "all necessary permits applied/approved" for the air show. 

The FAA says it’s working on the request but has so far failed to provide a timeframe of completion. 

"But they were supposed to have done due-diligence, and the NTSB says it was not done," Manno said.

The Commemorative Air Force maintains that it will not provide further comment until the NTSV’s full report is complete.