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Freight Company Blames ATC For Taxiway Collision

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The owner of two small cargo aircraft that collided at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport last Wednesday says both pilots were complying with instructions from the tower. One of the pilots was slightly injured when the Cessna 402 and Beech 99, both owned by Freight Runners Express, came together at the intersection of three taxiways just off the airport’s main runway. "Both aircraft were operating in controlled areas under explicit instructions of air traffic control," Freight Runners said in a statement quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Neither pilot was notified by [air traffic control] of the impending conflict at the intersection, which would have prevented this accident." The NTSB hasn’t decided whether it will investigate. A propeller on one aircraft pierced the fuel tank of the other, causing a fire, which was doused quickly by the airport fire department. Pilot Jim Kremsreiter, who was taxiing the Cessna, told WTMJ News that he initially thought he had an engine fire. "It wasn't until I was getting off the wing of the airplane that I even realized there was another airplane there,” he told the TV station. “It was just so bright and all I could see was this fire." Kremsreiter, who’s been flying for 48 years, was uninjured. Charley Stephenson, a 37-year veteran who was taxiing the Beech, suffered minor hand, scalp and face burns.

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