Two Airplanes Collide, One Chute Saves Both
All three on board walked away with minor injuries after two aircraft -- an ultralight and a glider -- collided in midair on Sunday afternoon near Rheinland-Pfalz airfield in Winningen, Germany. The two aircraft met at roughly right angles and became wedged together, and the ultralight pilot was able to deploy a ballistic chute that cushioned the impact for both. "The 17-year-old pilot of the glider was lucky, a police spokesman [said]," according to the swr.de website (translated from the German via Google). "Without the parachute [of the] ultralight aviator he was unrestrained crashed into the ground." Two people were on board the ultralight aircraft, a man and a woman, ages 29 and 32. Both pilots were apparently trying to land at the airfield.
James Lockridge took a look at midairs in general aviation for Aviation Safety magazine in 2010. You can read his analysis of the threat -- and how to avoid it -- here.