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Two people killed in mid-air collision between helicopter and small plane in Chandler Arizona


Two people on helicopter are killed in mid-air collision after small plane carrying student pilot coming in for a landing ‘clips chopper’s rotors’ in Arizona: Two aboard plane survive

  • A helicopter crashed and burned after the copter collided in midair over suburban Phoenix with a single-engine plane that landed safely at the airport
  • Both occupants of the helicopter were killed while those in the plane walked out 
  • The collision happened Friday morning near Chandler Municipal Airport
  • Both aircraft were owned and operated by flight schools at the airport 


A helicopter pilot and his passenger were killed in a midair crash as the chopper collided with a small plane that was coming in to land, clipping the rotors of the copter in Arizona on Friday morning. 

The accident happened at around 7:30am in Chandler, southeast of Phoenix, as the fixed-wing plane, owned by Flight Operations Academy, clipped the chopper close to the perimeter of Chandler Municipal Airport, witnesses said.

‘It looked like the landing gear caught one of the rotors, broke the rotor off, chopped the fuselage in half, took its tail off and then…the helicopter went straight down,’ said Matthew Trent, who witnessed tragedy unfold. 

Incredibly, the two occupants of the plane, a flight instructor and a student pilot, managed to land safely on the runway at the airport and walked away without injury.

A helicopter crashed and burned after the copter collided in midair over suburban Phoenix with a single-engine plane that landed safely at the airport

Both occupants of the helicopter were killed while those in the plane walked out

Both occupants of the helicopter were killed while those in the plane walked out

The collision happened Friday morning near Chandler Municipal Airport

The collision happened Friday morning near Chandler Municipal Airport

The pair traveling in the helicopter were killed when the copter, owned by Quantum Helicopters, crash-landed in nearby scrubland and burst into flames. 

Fire officials confirmed that two people died. Their identities and ages have not been released. 

The identities of the two survivors also was not released. 

The helicopter was completely destroyed, with its rotor blades strewn around the crash site and its distinctive blue fuselage virtually flattened by the impact of the crash.

Both aircraft were owned by flight schools in the area. 

Local television cameras captured smoke billowing from the crash site at the airport's perimeter

Local television cameras captured smoke billowing from the crash site at the airport’s perimeter

Thick black smoke could be seen in the air close to the airport following the crash

Thick black smoke could be seen in the air close to the airport following the crash

Some posted about the incident on social media

Some posted about the incident on social media 

Student pilot, Tyler Detwiler, who trains at Chandler Airport, was doing a preflight inspection with his instructor when the crash happened. 

‘The helicopter went down really fast. They did collide in the air. The plane I know for sure was on final to land, so it was just about to be landing,’ Detwiler told ABC15.

He said he saw the helicopter began to spin out of control before slamming into the ground. 

‘As soon as it hit the ground it almost..it was quick. It was a quick fireball,’ he said.

Police say the National Transportation Safety Board has been informed and are conducting an investigation.

Anyone who saw the crash or who has video of the incident is asked to call police at 480-782-4130.

The plane managed to land on the runway at Chandler Municipal airport

The plane managed to land on the runway at Chandler Municipal airport

Both occupants were able to climb out of the plane and walk away without any injuried

Both occupants were able to climb out of the plane and walk away without any injuried

Very little was left of the helicopter,  which burst into flames after it crashed to the ground

Very little was left of the helicopter,  which burst into flames after it crashed to the ground

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