On a Clear Morning, 2 Small Planes Collide in Midair

3 people died in the crash near Denver
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 18, 2022 5:32 AM CDT
On a Clear Morning, 2 Small Planes Collide in Midair
A crashed plane, one of two, lies along Niwot Road between Highway 287 and N. 95th St. on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Longmont, Colo. Two small airplanes collided in mid-air Saturday near Denver, killing three people, authorities said.   (Andy Cross/The Denver Post via AP)

Two small airplanes collided in midair near Denver on Saturday, killing three people, authorities said. It wasn't known what might have caused the crash between the four-seater Cessna 172 and the Sonex Xenos, a light, aluminum, homebuilt aircraft that can seat two. Nearby residents who heard the crash and rushed outside told 9News in Denver they were surprised the planes could have struck each other on such a clear morning.

A witness tells the Denver Post, "I knew those people were not alive after that. They weren’t terribly high, but as they were spiraling down the nose of the plane was heading straight down, pointing straight at the ground. You could tell that they had no control and that it was a bad crash. It happened so fast.” One of the planes crashed in a field, the other in a stand of trees, near Vance Brand Airport in Longmont, Colorado, about 30 miles north of Denver. Two people were found dead in one wreckage, and one person in the other, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating, reports the AP. Neither aircraft was equipped with a collision avoidance system or any cockpit display that would have identified nearby aircraft. The NTSB said a preliminary report would be released in about 15 days. The collision happened just before 9am Saturday. The identities of the victims were not immediately released. (Read more plane crash stories.)

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