Pilots Of Vintage Planes Unhurt In Collision

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Itís not often that both pilots walk away from a midair collision. Itís rarer still when the airplanes involved are 60-year-old wire and wood antiques and at least one of the pilots is older than the aircraft. It happened Saturday when Ralph Baxter, an 82-year-old former airline and Navy pilot, was practicing aerobatics in his 1940 Waco biplane off the coast of San Pedro, Calif. Somehow the Wacoís tail came in contact with the prop on a 1942 Stearman whose pilot hasnít been identified. According to the Fresno Bee, the Stearman was able to get back to Torrance Airport for a safe landing, but Baxter opted for an emergency landing on the beach. The Waco landed in the water near the shoreline and flipped, but fortunately for Baxter there were lifeguards on duty and they got him out of his harness. He was able to walk away under his own power and was released from the hospital after a precautionary check. No more details have been released and the NTSB is investigating.