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The Federal Aviation Administration said four people died when two small airplanes collided in midair Sunday near Corona Municipal Airport. Three of the victims died in the air and one person died on the ground when hit by falling debris, said Allen Kenitzen, an FAA spokesman.
The National Transportation Safety Board had arrived at the crash scene late Sunday and had taken over the investigation. None of the victims had been identified late Sunday, authorities said.
Source | The Associated Press
Kenitzer did not immediately know where either plane was headed or whether there were any distress calls.
The Corona airport does not have a staffed control tower, he said.
Source | Wikipedia | Visual Flight Rules
Visual flight rules (VFR) are a set of aviation regulations under which a pilot may operate an aircraft in weather conditions sufficient to allow the pilot, by visual reference to the environment outside the cockpit, to control the aircraft's attitude, navigate, and maintain safe separation from obstacles such as terrain, buildings, and other aircraft.
The essential collision safety principle guiding the VFR pilot is "see and avoid." Pilots flying under VFR assume responsibility for their separation from all other aircraft and are generally not assigned routes or altitudes by air traffic control.
Corona plane crash toll rises to five
CORONA - The number of peopkle killed in Sunday's collision between two small planes has reached five, according to investigators.
Investigators Comb Auto Dealership Following Midair Collision
Investigators intend to check rooftops Monday as part of the effort to determine if there were other victims of the midair collision over Corona of two small planes that killed at least five people, authorities said.
Meanwhile, piecing together exactly what happened before the two Cessna aircraft collided poses a challenge for investigators, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Ian Gregor.
Investigators picked through the gnarled wreckage Monday of two small planes that collided about a mile from an airport, killing five and raining debris and bodies down on car dealership parking lots.
Two people were killed from each plane, and a fifth was killed inside a Chevy dealership hit by wreckage, said Wayne Pollack of the National Transportation Safety Board.
"There were bodies falling out of the sky," eyewitness Hector Hernandez told KCBS-TV. "One of them crashed into the top of a Ford Mustang, and another one fell not too far behind that one on the parking lot."
Sun is a suspect in plane crash
Federal investigators are trying to determine how the pilots of two small planes failed to see each other before colliding over Corona on a clear Sunday afternoon, leaving five dead and showering wreckage over a busy auto mall.
Veteran pilots said the skies above Corona and the Inland Empire are typically congested on weekends, often with student pilots and instructors, and the local airport has no air traffic control tower -- meaning those in the sky must be vigilant and look out for other airplanes.