Samantha Tata, Rosa Ordaz and Beverly White NBC
1 Dead After Small Planes Collide Mid-Air: FAA
April 29, 2013
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  • By Samantha Tata, Rosa Ordaz and Beverly White

    A pilot died when a small plane collided mid-air with another plane that made an emergency landing on a nearby golf course in Southern California, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    The planes, both Cessnas, were flying at altitudes above 3,000 feet when they collided about 8 miles east, northeast of Ventura, Calif., according to FAA radar data.

    The first airplane was headed west at 3,500 feet. The second airplane was headed east at 3,100 feet. That plane had just departed Santa Monica for an engine test flight, said Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman with the FAA.

    The first plane made an emergency landing after 2 p.m. near the third hole at the Westlake Golf Course in Westlake Village. The second airplane crashed into mountainous terrain in Calabasas, sparking a 1 acre brush fire.

    The pilot in that crash died.

    All three people aboard the plane that landed on the golf course survived, said Deputy Mark Pope, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. At least one of them was injured.

    The plane is registered to AmeriFlyers, a Dallas-based flight school with a Santa Monica location.

    The golf course was open at the time the plane made its rough landing, but no one on the ground was injured.

    The sound of a low-flying aircraft scared golfers off the driving range and into the shop.

    The second plane was found about the same time Monday as firefighters responded to a brush fire sparked by aircraft debris, about 5 miles away from the golf course.