Thursday, May 23, 2013
Two Planes Collide Midair; Neither Pilot Saw the Other Craft Until Collision
Miraculously, both planes continued their respective journeys and landed safely with only minor damage and no injuries to those on board.
What are the odds that two planes would be flying directly at each other and that neither pilot would see each other until they actually collide? It happened on Sunday in Lake Clark Pass.
A Piper Navaho flown by Lake Clark Air had eight people on board plus a pilot when it flew through the pass Sunday afternoon. The pilot couldn’t see that a floatplane with four people on board was headed his way at top speed, coming directly at him.
The planes collided in midair. The floatplane flew over the larger plane and damaged a float that struck the Navaho’s tail. The Navaho needed a rudder replaced. But despite the damage both planes were able to continue to a safe landing, one at Merrill Field and the other at Lake Hood.
What’s more, the passengers didn’t know what had happened until they got off the plane and saw the damage. Many believed the slight jolt they had felt was a bird that was struck by the plane.
Lake Clark Air’s president Glen Alsworth says the chances that the two would be on a direct course in the uncontrolled airspace are about “one in a zillion.”
“The Good Lord was watching them,” says Alsworth, “everyone on board those flights was blessed.”
The National Transportation and Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are both investigating the incident but there may not ever be a finding of fault.
That’s because the planes were traveling in uncontrolled airspace where the only regulations are to “watch out” for each other.