Planes on Final Approach to Airport Collide in Mid-Air

All 3 people aboard were killed in small aircraft crash
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2022 12:30 AM CDT
Planes on Final Approach to Airport Collide in Mid-Air
This photo provided by KION-TV shows multiple agencies responding to Watsonville Municipal Airport, northwest of Watsonville, in Santa Cruz County, Calif. after 2 planes attempting to land collided on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.   (KION-TV via AP)

Two pilots both attempting to land small aircraft at a Northern California airport collided in mid-air Thursday afternoon, killing all three people reported to be on board. The small private planes were attempting to land at Watsonville Municipal Airport in Santa Cruz County when the crash occurred around 3pm, KRON4 reports. Witnesses said the planes were about 200 feet in the air at the time, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports. One witness says he saw a twin-engine plane bank hard to the right and crash into the wing of a single-engine, smaller plane; he says the larger plane continued on for a bit but was "struggling" before it eventually crashed, while the smaller plane "spiraled" down into a field.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are both investigating the cause of the collision, SFGate reports. "A single-engine Cessna 152 and a twin-engine Cessna 340 collided while the pilots were on their final approaches to Watsonville Municipal Airport. One person was on board the Cessna 152 and two people were on board the Cessna 340," the FAA says in a statement. One plane crashed into a hangar building at the airport and the other crashed in a field about 100 feet from a neighborhood; no one on the ground was hurt. (More plane crash stories.)

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