Monday, May 9, 2011
Two killed after two planes collide in mid-air in upstate New York
WAWAYANDA, N.Y. -- Two small planes crashed in mid-air Monday, then plunged into the woods in the upstate New York town of Wawayanda, killing at least two people, the Times Herald-Record reported.
Orange County Fire Coordinator John Horan confirmed two planes were down in the woods.
New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Capt. Joseph Tripodo said there was at least one person dead in each small, fixed-wing aircraft, which collided at approximately 3:00pm local time and crashed a couple hundred yards apart in the woods.
He did not know whether the victims were the planes' pilots and was unable to say how many people were in each aircraft.
"One plane burst into flames," Tripodo said. "It was so badly burned, we couldn't get any numbers [tail numbers for identification] off of the wreckage."
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokeswoman Arlene Salac said one person is dead in the plane that rescuers were able to reach. State police told the FAA they can see the other plane from the air but have not reached it yet because it is in dense woods.
The plane in which the body was found was registered to a man from Boonton, N.J.
Witness Pete Ewamciw of Greenville, N.Y. was driving his truck when he looked up just after the apparent collision.
"I saw them tail spinning straight down. Then I saw a plume of black smoke."
Reports from the scene say the area -- about 73 miles (117 km) northwest of New York City -- is littered with pieces from the aircraft.