Local families are reeling from the death of an Air Force veteran in a plane crash.
Wednesday, federal investigators started looking into what caused the mid-air collision that also put a Navy veteran in the hospital.
“It's shocking,” said Joe Tierney, who has known Bob Woolley and David Dollarhide for 10 years.
“Both of the pilots were former military pilots, very experienced fighter pilots, thousands of hours of experience,” Tierney added.
But somehow, investigators said Dollarhide banked into Woolley’s plane after takeoff from Haller Airpark Wednesday in Clay County, likely shearing off Woolley’s wing as he tried to land.
Sky Action News Jax flew over the wreckage, which showed the aftermath of the crash. Dollarhide was in the yellow plane, and Woolley was in the red aircraft.
“They did a lot of formation flying,” said Edie Lorenz. “It was really beautiful to watch them.”
Action News Jax uncovered online videos from years past, showing the two men simulating a dogfight, or aerial, military-style combat.
Wednesday night it remained unclear if any kind of special maneuver led to the collision.
The National Transportation Safety Board will work to learn that, as Tierney and a whole community come to grips with a tragedy.
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