Cessnas Collide in Midair Over SoCal
One pilot dies, the other lands on golf course
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2013 9:25 AM CDT
Aerial view of the Santa Monica Mountains   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Two Cessnas collided over Southern California yesterday afternoon, and those aboard one of the planes miraculously survived. That plane managed to land, with its landing gear still up, on a Westlake Golf Course fairway; the three people on board reported only minor injuries. But the other plane, also a single-engine Cessna 172, crashed into the Santa Monica Mountains, killing the pilot. He had been flying east and the other plane was coming from the west, according to the FAA, which believes both planes may have taken off from the Santa Monica Airport.

The two collided over Ventura County, and the plane that crashed started a fire that burned through an acre of dry brush. But the other plane managed a seemingly miraculous feat: "They landed … in the center of the fairway," a golfer tells the Los Angeles Times. Though at some point the plane did clip a tree and spin around, "all we heard was a thud and then he made a gentle bounce and slid down the center of the fairway, veering to the left." Authorities are investigating the accident.