The quiet darkness of the Arizona dessert was shattered early Friday morning, when two planes collided near Phoenix.
Authorities say that they have recovered the bodies of four adults that died in the crash. The identities of the adults will not be released until the families have been notified.
An initial report said three people were killed and two people were injured. Fire officials with the Phoenix and Peoria city fire departments and Daisy Mountain Fire Department later said four people had died and there were no survivors.
The two aircraft involved where small, single engine planes. Locals say it is not uncommon to see these types of aircraft flying in the area. This remote part of the Arizona dessert is considered open air space. A spokesperson for the Phoenix police says that if the crash had taken place in a more congested area there could have been additional fatalities.
Despite the remote location, the crash was witnessed by several people in the area according to www.usatoday.com. Several 911 calls were received shortly after 10 am reporting the crash. A pilot near Deer Valley Airport reported seeing the crash take place in midair approximately 15 miles northwest of the airport.
When fire crews arrived at the scene, one of the aircraft had burst into flames and was reportedly unrecognizable. The other aircraft was severely damaged after making a rough landing. It was hoped there would be survivors from this aircraft, but all victims were found dead at the scene of the crash.
“We arrived on the scene and found four people deceased,” said Captain Larry Nunez, a Phoenix Fire Department spokesman.
The company issued a statement Friday afternoon that said two of its instructors died in the crash.
Local news footage showed only charred wreckage left from one of the planes, while the other was fairly intact.
A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman says the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA will investigate.
Having two Planes collide is a rare
According to Wikipedia, there are many types and causes of mid-air collisions. On some occasions, military aircraft conducting training flights inadvertently collide with civilian aircraft. Before 1958, civilian air traffic controllers guiding civilian flights and military controllers guiding military aircraft were both unaware of the other’s aircraft.
The 1958 collision between United Airlines Flight 736 and a fighter jet, as well as another U.S. military/civilian crash one month later involving Capital Airlines Flight 300, hastened the signing of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 into law. The act created the Federal Aviation Agency (later renamed the Federal Aviation Administration), and provided unified control of airspace for both civil and military flights.
In 2005, as part of an effort to reducing the chances of having two planes collide, in U.S. airspace, the Air National Guard Flight Safety Division, led by Lt Col Edward Vaughan, used the Disruptive Solutions Process to create the See and Avoid web portal. In late 2006, the U.S. Defense Safety Oversight Council (DSOC) recognized and funded the site as its official civil/military midair collision prevention website, with participation by all the services
Planes Collide North Of Phoenix, Arizona; 4 Dead, Fire Official Says
Planes collide: Four dead as two small planes collide in mid-air in Arizona