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Two killed after helicopter, plane collide midair in Arizona

CHANDLER, ARIZ. —
A helicopter and a single-engine airplane collided in midair Friday close to a suburban Phoenix airport, sending the helicopter crashing right into a subject and killing each individuals on board. The airplane landed safely, and the flight teacher and a scholar inside weren’t harm.

The collision occurred within the metropolis of Chandler close to its municipal airport, stated police Sgt. Jason McClimans. He stated nobody on the bottom was harm however the airport would stay closed for a number of hours.

The Chandler Hearth Division acquired experiences of a fireplace in a brush subject subsequent to the airport shortly earlier than 8 a.m. Crews discovered a big plume of smoke and the wreckage of the helicopter on hearth however have been in a position to extinguish it comparatively shortly, hearth officers stated.

They inspected the helicopter and located the our bodies of the 2 individuals on board. The Maricopa County health worker’s workplace will decide their identities.

The chopper was operated by Quantum Helicopters and the airplane by Flight Operations Academy. Each are flight faculties, in accordance with McClimans, of Chandler Police.

Richard Bengoa, proprietor of Flight Operations Academy, informed The Related Press the four-seat airplane is used largely for flight coaching. The one individuals aboard have been the flight teacher and the scholar pilot.

Although officers didn’t permit Bengoa to get near the airplane, he stated it appeared from a distance that its touchdown gear had been broken. He stated he had no details about how the collision occurred and was not allowed to talk with the teacher or scholar.

Bengoa described his operation as “extra of a household enterprise to form of promote aviation and assist individuals get their licenses.”

A press release from the Federal Aviation Administration additionally indicated proof of harm on the Piper PA-28 plane’s touchdown gear. The company listed the helicopter as a Robinson R22.

The airport’s management tower was working on the time of the collision. However FAA officers declined to say how most of the workers have been there, noting that element will probably be a part of the general investigation.

The Nationwide Transportation Security Board will lead the investigation into the reason for the collision and crash.

Police are in search of any witnesses or individuals who might have filmed the ordeal.

Chandler Municipal Airport doesn’t present business airline service. A lot of the flights there are for chartered journeys, non-public excursions and coaching. It is thought of one of many nation’s 50 busiest common aviation airports with greater than 200,000 flight operations a 12 months, in accordance with Chandler’s tourism workplace.

Dodge Metropolis Group School in Kansas operates its DC3 Flight Teacher Program out of the Chandler airport. The college stated in an announcement on its Fb web page that “officers are working to inform the suitable households of these concerned within the incident.” Authorities haven’t talked about any ties to a selected coaching program.

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Davenport reported from Phoenix.

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