Several people have been killed after two light aircraft crashed mid-air while trying to land at Watsonville Municipal Airport (WVI) in California.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it was investigating the collision between a Cessna 152 and a Cessna 340A, which occurred on August 18, 2022. The city of Watsonville said in a tweet that the accident report came in at 14:46 local time and there were reports of “multiple fatalities”.
BREAKING: Multiple fatalities have been reported after two planes collided mid-air above Watsonville airport in Santa Cruz County, according to officials.
(courtesy City of Watsonville) pic.twitter.com/d3bOJ7Qif0
— Amy Larson (@AmyLarson25) August 18, 2022
The twin-engine Cessna 340 was carrying two people while the single-engine Cessna 152 had only the pilot on board, the FAA said. No one on the ground was injured, the agency said.
Local media cited witnesses as saying the planes collided about 200 feet in the air. They said the twin-engine continued flying after the crash, which sent the smaller plane spiraling to the ground. The Cessna 340A crashed into an airport hangar shortly after, however.
WVI is a general aviation airport situated near the coast in Monterey Bay in California. It has no control tower so pilots have to communicate with each other when they want to land and take-off.
Multiple agencies responded to Watsonville Municipal Airport after 2 planes attempting to land collided. We have reports of multiple fatalities.
Report came in at 2:56pm.
Investigation is underway, updates to follow. pic.twitter.com/pltHIAyw5p
— City of Watsonville (@WatsonvilleCity) August 18, 2022