C150, C172 Hit One Mile From KAJO
ANN REALTIME UPDATE 01.21.08 1515
EST: We're learning a little more about the aircraft
involved in Sunday's fatal midair collision over Corona, CA, though
the identities of the victims remain unknown at this time.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports one of the aircraft,
identified as a Cessna 172, is registered to William A. Reinke of
La Habra, CA. FAA databases show three C-172s and a C-182
registered to that name.
Reinke himself was not onboard the aircraft. Reached at his home
by the paper, Reinke declined to say who was onboard the accident
plane. "I only know what happened off the television," he said.
The second aircraft, a Cessna 150, is registered to Air Corona,
based in Dover, DE. The company has two C-150s, and two C-172s, on
the FAA registry.
Concrete aircraft identifications may need to wait until
Tuesday, when the FAA releases preliminary accident information.
The agency did not update its online database Monday due to the
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.
Investigators are scrambling to determine why two small GA
planes collided Sunday afternoon over Corona, CA, killing four
persons onboard the two Cessnas and a fifth on the ground.
Wayne Pollack, investigator with the National Transportation
Safety Board, said the Cessna 150 and Cessna 172 collided about one
mile from Corona Municipal Airport (KAJO) at approximately 1535
PST, in clear weather conditions. Each aircraft had two persons
onboard, reports The Los Angeles Times.
"The severity of the impact is fairly high," Pollack said.
Witness Doug Champion, an off-duty Orabge County sheriff's
deputy, said he first saw the planes from about a mile away. "They
looked like they would run into each other," he said, acknowledging
that perception from the ground is often an optical illusion... but
it wasn't this time.
The planes were traveling in converging directions, Champion
said. The northbound aircraft appeared to hit the other plane,
similar to "what you see in a T-bone traffic accident if someone
runs a red light," he said. "There was no explosion or fire... They
just hit, broke up and fell from the sky."
The impact lead to the in-flight breakup of one aircraft. The
second suffered wing damage, causing it to spiral to the
Debris from the accident landed on a row of automobile
dealerships along Wardlow Row in Corona, raining down in an area of
about 300 square yards. A second debris field was found about 1,000
yards from the dealerships.
The victim on the ground was an employee at an area Chevrolet
dealership. The man was hit by debris that fell through a roof,
according to another worker who identified herself as Yvonne.
Pollack said parts from a cockpit, propeller and instrument
panel were among the parts that fell through the dealership's
Identities of the victims, and the N-numbers of the aircraft
involved, have not been released. ANN will update this story
throughout the day as more information becomes available.