SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Federal authorities are investigating the cause of a mid-air collision at a Dallas air show over the weekend.

Six people were killed when two vintage military planes slammed into each other on Saturday. 

World War II-era planes took part in a Veteran’s Day celebration. Four thousand people witnessed as a small fighter plane sheared off the top of a B-17 bomber. They exploded into a ball of flames and black smoke.

A preliminary report on the crash is expected in 4 to 6 weeks. A full report will take more than a year. 

WSAV had the chance to speak with two of those men when they visited Savannah earlier this year during a Memorial Day weekend trip, showing off one of the flying fortresses.

From speaking with Kevin Michels, the Flight Crew & Wing Historian for the Commemorative Air Force, the passion he had for his work was undeniable, leading tours through, what he called their flying classroom.

“The men and women who sacrificed themselves in World War II, their sacrifices need to be remembered and this B-17 is how we help educate the public on what those sacrifices were, the freedoms that we all enjoy and the sacrifices that we need to honor,” Michels said.

Dan Ragan, 88, was a Korean War Veteran himself, serving as a radio operator aboard one of these very aircrafts in the 1950’s. Ragan said his interest with flying the Texas Raiders started with his brother, who operated one during world war two.

“I had an older brother, 19-years-old, he was a pilot on a B-17 over Europe,” Ragan said. “They were kids back then, but they won the war and we need to honor them, educate the public and never forget. If you forget what happened, history will come back and bite you.”

The national transportation safety board is currently investigating the cause of the crash. 

If you’d like to donate to support the families of the fallen crew members, you can follow this link.