4 dead after 2 planes collide at North Las Vegas Airport
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Four people were killed after two planes collided Sunday afternoon at North Las Vegas Airport.
The planes crashed mid-air above the airport and landed in different areas: one upside down on a runway, and the other in flames near an airport fence. The crash happened just after noon Sunday.
The planes involved were single-engine planes. According to registration information with the Federal Aviation Administration, one plane, a Cessna 172, was registered to Binner Enterprises out of Henderson.
Matthew Binner is the president of the flight school Airwork Las Vegas. Its website shows it offers that make and model plane to rent.
Monday night there was one bouquet of flowers laid in front of the companies office space at the North Las Vegas airport. Binner posted on the companies Facebook page, Monday.
“[Sunday] was a very sad day for the Airwork family. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us yesterday and today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those involved in yesterday’s terrible accident. This world lost some great people and aviators,” Binner wrote.
Binner noted that they are cooperating with the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board to help them with their investigation.
The second plane was a Piper PA 46-350P registered to Gold Aero Aviation LLC out of Florida, but appears to have a Las Vegas mailing address.
The NTSB and the FAA have taken over control of the investigation.
Meanwhile, the identities of the four people killed in Sunday’s crash have yet to be released.
FAA records also show that the collision happened mid-air, during landing.
“It’s pretty uncommon,” said Dore Rodine, a pilot who has a plane hangared at North Las Vegas Airport.
Rodine rushed to the airport when he found out what happened.
“There’s a lot of traffic, so it’s always a concern about how well the airport system and flights are managed coming in and out of the airport,” said Rodine.
North Las Vegas Airport manages a lot of flights, according to pilots we spoke to -- especially on Sundays.
“A lot of traffic, very very busy,” said Rodine.
Still, Rodine said this crash took him by surprise given the airport’s features.
“It’s very wide open, there’s not a lot of buildings or structures in this area. And with an active control tower at the time that it occurred, I’m really surprised that there wasn’t better terrain awareness, either by one of the pilots or by the control tower.”
The FAA said a Piper PA-46 Malibu Meridian, a six-seater, single-engine aircraft was preparing to land when it collided with the other plane and crashed into in a field east of Runway 30R. Several pilots told FOX5 that this type of plane is the faster, more powerful plane compared to the other plane in the crash.
The other plane was a Cessna 172, which is a smaller, four-seater, single-engine aircraft. The FAA said the Cessna fell into a water retention pond.
Separately, Rodine also told FOX5 that there are radar indicators in the planes, letting pilots know how close they are to other traffic.
FOX5 obtained the last air traffic control contact before the crash:
The administration categorized the collision as an accident. The NTSB is still investigating what led to the crash.
This is a developing investigation. Check back for updates.
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