Three Killed In Two Midairs

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Two people died on Monday afternoon when a Piper PA-28 and a small six-seat airplane collided in Virginia, and one pilot was killed last week when two agricultural airplanes collided in Arkansas. The Piper appeared to be inbound to the Warrenton-Fauquier airport, according to FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown, and the pilot was able to land safely. He was injured, however, and was taken to a hospital. According to one online report, at least part of one wing was missing. The second airplane, which has not been identified, crashed and burned, killing both people on board. The two ag planes, a Grumman G164C and an Air Tractor AT-802A, apparently turned into one another at the corner of a field where both were working, according to the Associated Press.

The Air Tractor pilot was killed and the Grumman pilot sustained serious injuries, according to the FAA. The two aircraft were working near Paragould, Ark. A 2003 study by AOPA's Air Safety Foundation found that midair collisions of GA aircraft were happening about 13 times a year, and hadn't shown any decline despite drops in other fatal accidents. Nearly 45 percent of midairs in the study occurred in the traffic pattern, and 76 percent of those occurred during approach and landing. It's not yet clear what the intentions or positions were of the two airplanes that collided on Monday.