Tags: midair | collision | socal | small | planes

Midair Collision Kills 3 in 2 Small Planes Off SoCal Coast

Image: Midair Collision Kills 3 in 2 Small Planes Off SoCal Coast

A flotilla of boats searches for wreckage from two small planes that collided in midair and plunged into the ocean off of Los Angeles harbor. (image from KABC-TV video)

By    |   Monday, 08 Feb 2016 09:44 AM

Divers searching the water off Southern California following a midair collision of two small planes found two bodies and the wreckage of one aircraft over the weekend. 

The search was launched Friday after one of the planes piloted by a 72-year-old woman was seen on radar colliding with a craft carrying two men, ages 61 and 81, off San Pedro, reported The Associated Press.

Divers found the bodies and wreckage about 100 feet below the surface in an area about two miles off Los Angeles Harbor, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Capt. Jack Ewell.

Investigators from the coroner's office will identify the victims and divers were to resume the search Monday morning,

Authorities have not released any identities, but the woman's husband identified her as Mary Falstrom of Torrance.

Richard Falstrom said his wife, a longtime pilot, told him Friday that she was going on a plane ride to enjoy the sunny weather. Hours later came the news of the collision.

Debris from a plane carrying the two men, including a pilot's logbook, was quickly found. But there was no sign of Falstrom or her plane.

His wife was a member of The Ninety-Nines, Inc., an international organization of women pilots, and she volunteered at the Western Museum of Flight at Torrance Airport, from which she and the other plane took off Friday.

The plane carrying the men was a Beech 35 Bonanza and the second was a Citabria, said Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. Falstrom said his wife flew a Super Decathlon, an aerobatic plane by the same maker of the Citabria.

The crash site was near the Angels Gate light, a lighthouse at the San Pedro Breakwater that is on the National Register of Historic Places. The area is popular for flight students.

Authorities said both pilots were experienced.

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Divers searching the water off Southern California following a midair collision of two small planes found two bodies and the wreckage of one aircraft over the weekend.
midair, collision, socal, small, planes
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2016-44-08
Monday, 08 Feb 2016 09:44 AM
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