Two planes crashed into each other in midair on Wednesday while they were both preparing to land at a small airport in Arapahoe County, Colorado, just outside Denver.
But shockingly, no one involved in the accident was hurt; both pilots were able to make emergency landings and walk away unharmed, as did the one passenger who had been along for the unfortunate ride.
The pilot who requested the emergency landing was the only person aboard a twin-engine Fairchild Metroliner that landed at Centennial Airport despite major damage to its tail section. The plane is owned by a Colorado-based Key Lime Air, which operates cargo aircraft.
“Looks like the right engine failed, so I’m going to continue my landing here,” the pilot said in an audio clip with air traffic control. Experts say the positive outcome of the collision was a combination of luck and advanced life-saving technology. “It’s very rare for me to be able to say ‘midair’ and ‘no fatalities’ in the same sentence,” said Joseph LoRusso, a Broomfield, Colorado-based aviation attorney and commercially rated pilot.
The second plane, a single-engine 2016 Cirrus SR22, was rented by Independence Aviation, the company said in a statement. Its pilot successfully deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System designed to slow the craft’s descent after a collision. The pilot who deployed parachute did exactly what it is supposed to do, which is to allow the aircraft to crash in a controlled manner.
While the fact that both pilots and the lone passenger walked away from the crash unscathed, the fact remains that two planes somehow managed to hit each other and the investigation reports says that both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating how that took place.