Two people killed in mid-air helicopter, plane collision in Arizona

Getty Images

Two people aboard a helicopter were killed Friday morning when it collided with an airplane as they were flying near an airport southeast of Phoenix, according to police. 

Sgt. Jason McClimans of the Chandler Police Department told reporters that officers received reports of a mid-air collision around 7:30 a.m. local time, adding that they located the scene of a crash upon arrival. 

The officer said that the two individuals who had been on board the helicopter died, adding that authorities believed the plane, which held another two individuals, was able to land safely near the Chandler Municipal Airport, located about 22 miles southeast of Phoenix. 

Police have not yet publicly released the identities of the two people killed. 

The Chandler Fire Department told NBC affiliate KPNX that the helicopter crashed into the ground and caught on fire after colliding with the plane. 

The police department shortly after the crash said on Twitter that traffic along roads near the collision site was being diverted in several directions, with police cautioning community members to avoid the region. 

According to McClimans, the helicopter was operated by Quantum Helicopters and the plane is operated by Flight Operations Academy, both of which are flight schools. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement shared with The Hill that the plane was a single-engine Piper PA-28, and the helicopter a Robinson R22. 

The FAA confirmed that the airplane landed safely on the runway “with a damaged landing gear,” while the helicopter crashed near the airport. 

The agency added that it will investigate the collisions along with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). 

“The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates,” the FAA added, noting that “neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.” 

McClimans told reporters Friday that the airport had been shut down for takeoffs and landings as they awaited NTSB and FAA officials to arrive at the scene. 

“I don’t have any information on the cause of this incident,” the police spokesman noted, adding that the department is “asking people who were possibly in the area that witnessed and, or may have video recorded this incident to contact the Chandler Police Department.” 

“This will help us and the NTSB and FAA come to a final conclusion on how this tragic incident occurred,” he added.

Tags Arizona Aviation Aviation accidents and incidents collision FAA Federal Aviation Administration Federal Aviation Administration Helicopter National Transportation Safety Board national transportation safety board (ntsb) NBC NTSB Quantum Helicopters Twitter

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video