Two dead after a collision between a helicopter and a plane in the air in Arizona – .

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Two dead after a collision between a helicopter and a plane in the air in Arizona – .


CHANDLER, ARIZ. – A helicopter and a single-engine plane collided in mid-air Friday near an airport in suburban Phoenix, sending the helicopter crashing into a field and killing both people on board. The aircraft landed safely, and the flight instructor and a student inside were not injured.

The collision occurred in the town of Chandler near its municipal airport, the police sergeant said. Jason McClimans. He said no one on the ground was injured but the airport would remain closed for several hours.

The Chandler Fire Department received reports of a fire in a brush field next to the airport shortly before 8 a.m.

They inspected the helicopter and found the bodies of the two people on board. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine their identity.

The helicopter was operated by Quantum Helicopters and the aircraft by Flight Operations Academy. Both are flight schools, according to McClimans of the Chandler Police Department.

Richard Bengoa, owner of the Flight Operations Academy, told The Associated Press that the four-seater plane was primarily used for flight training. The only people on board were the flight instructor and the student pilot.

Although authorities did not allow Bengoa to approach the plane, he said it appeared from a distance that his landing gear had been damaged. He said he had no information on how the collision happened and was not allowed to speak with the instructor or the student.

Bengoa described his operation as “more of a family business to kind of promote aviation and help people get their licenses.”

A Federal Aviation Administration statement also indicated evidence of damage to the landing gear of the Piper PA-28 aircraft. The agency listed the helicopter as a Robinson R22.

The airport control tower was in operation at the time of the collision. But FAA officials declined to say how many employees were in attendance, noting that this detail will be part of the overall investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the collision and the accident.

The police are looking for witnesses or people who could have filmed the ordeal.

Chandler Municipal Airport does not provide commercial air service. Most of the flights are there for charter trips, private excursions and training. It is considered one of the 50 busiest general aviation airports in the country with more than 200,000 flight operations per year, according to the Chandler tourism board.

Dodge City Community College in Kansas operates its DC3 Flight Instructor Program out of Chandler Airport. The school said in a statement on its Facebook page that “officials are working to notify the appropriate families of those involved in the incident.” The authorities did not mention any link with a specific training program.

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Davenport reported from Phoenix.

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