TWO-YEAR-OLD BOY KILLED AFTER TWO LIGHT AIRPLANES APPROACHING LANDING STRIP COLLIDED MID-AIR IN IDAHO

Tragic: A two-year-old boy has been killed after the light aircraft he was travelling in collided with another plane above a remote airstrip

Two year old boy dies after light planes collide in mid-air

  • Police name three injured men, two from Oregan, one from Utah, after crash
  • Name of the two-year-old boy who was killed has not been released
  • Both planes were taking part in a flying event near Yellow Pine, Idaho
  • Collision happened as both airplanes approached a landing strip

By Helen Collis

A two-year-old boy has been killed after the light aircraft he was travelling in collided with another plane 60 feet in the air.

Three men who were also travelling in the aircraft were taken to hospital with serious injuries after the crash, which happened while they were participating in an airshow event.

One expert described the tragic incident as a ‘classic accident’ for the types of planes they were flying, since he said neither pilot would have been able to have seen the other plane.

 
Tragic: A two-year-old boy has been killed after the light aircraft he was travelling in collided with another plane above a remote airstripTragic: A two-year-old boy has been killed after the light aircraft he was travelling in collided with another plane above a remote airstrip

Police in Washington state said the 48-year-old father of the boy, Ronald Lee Beitel, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was airlifted to a Boise hospital, Idaho. His condition is said to be serious.

Two other men, Christopher Shea Jordan, 39, and Daniel Wayne Sprague, 54, both from Roseburg, Oregan, were travelling in the second plane. Authorities said they suffered non-life threatening injuries.

 Mr Beitel was flying a Beechcraft Baron when it collided with Mr Jordan’s Piper Tri-Pacer above Johnson Creek Airport‘s grass runway, a back-country airstrip.

The Washington state pilots were participating in a airshow event with about 100 other planes when the incident happened.

Both aircraft were reportedly approaching the grass runway at the same time when the collision happened at around 11am on Friday.

‘We never saw the other aircraft, and the other aircraft apparently never saw us,’ Mr Sprague told local news service NR Today.

 
Wreck: The Piper Tri-pacer flown by Chris Jordan was severely damaged by the collision which saw both planes plummet to the ground from 60 feetWreck: The Piper Tri-pacer flown by Chris Jordan was severely damaged by the collision which saw both planes plummet to the ground from 60 feet

The news site reported that the planes collided at about 60 feet in the air, with one dropping into another from above.

Roseburg regional airport director Mike Danielle, who was not in Idaho but talked with Sprague after the incident, told the local media that Mr Jordan was flying a high-wing airplane, so he could not have seen an airplane above him.

Meanwhile, the other plane was a low-wing plane, so the pilot could not see an aircraft below him, he said.

Another pilot who witnessed the fatal crash and who helped the men out from the wreckage, said Mr Sprague suffered a broken lower leg and Mr Jordan had cuts and a dislocated jaw.

Federal investigators spent the weekend at the airfield, five miles from the Idaho hamlet of Yellow Pine.

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