Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Helicopter and plane both crash after midair collision... and everyone SURVIVES



A helicopter smashed into a field in northern California Sunday night after a midair collision with a small airplane. 
And, miraculously, everyone involved in the high-altitude crash survived. 
The two pilots were taken to hospitals with minor injuries, but both were expected to be released. 

Beechcraft Bonanza
Small plane: Authorities say the Beechcraft Bonanza (like the one pictured here) clipped the helicopter then crash-landed 20 miles away
Robinson R22
Crashed: The Robinson R22 (like the one seen here) came slammed into a field about eight miles away
Federal aviation authorities said a six-seat Beechcraft Bonanza airplane clipped a two-seat Robinson R22 helicopter about 7pm in the skies above Rio Vista Municipal Airport. 
The airport is about halfway between Oakland and Sacramento. 
 
    It's unclear what caused the collision and officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have begun to investigate. 
    The plane flew about 20 miles south and crash-landed while trying to set down at Byron Airport. 

    Rio Vista Municipal Airport
    Small airport: The collision occurred above the Rio Vista Municipal Airport, in northern California

    The helicopter slammed into a field about eight miles south of the Rio Vista airport. 
    It's unknown whether anyone else except the pilots were aboard the two aircraft at the time of the collision.
    The Beechcraft Bonanza is a common small airplane capable of speeds of more than 200 miles per hour. The single-engine plane weighs about 2,500 pounds. 
    The Robinson R22 is a light utility helicopter weighing just 800 pounds. It has a maximum speed of about 110 miles per hour.

    By MICHAEL ZENNIE