2 Small Planes Collide In Midair

COOLIDGE, Ariz. --

Two small planes collided in midair Wednesday morning about 40 miles south of Phoenix.

  • Watch: FAA Probes Deadly Midair Crash

The Federal Aviation Administration said one person died and another person had to be rushed to the hospital.

Both planes each had two men on board.

One of the planes landed in an open area about 100 feet from an area of houses in the town of Coolidge.

“It’s sad that it happened, it’s terrible for anything like that,” said Mary Petersen who lives nearby.

Petersen could see the wreckage of a single-engine Cessna plane from her front gate.

Coolidge police arrived first on scene and said one man died after being ejected.

The second man was airlifted to a hospital.

The FAA said the Cessna crashed with another small plane in midair right before it went down.

“I’m glad the debris didn’t fall over here," said Petersen. "Thank God the kids were in school and nobody other than that around the areas."

The Cessna had left Tucson and was headed to Glendale Municipal Airport.

The plane is owned by Christiansen Aviation, based out of Tulsa, Okla.

The company’s owner, Bill Christiansen, who happened to be in town Wednesday, said it is his plane and that he was leasing it to a Glendale flight school.

The second plane crash landed about two miles east of the Cessna.

Neighbors said they saw both planes fall from the air.

“My grandma saw everything," said Lizzeth Urquijo. "She saw when the airplane fell on this side and the other one fell on the other side.”

The single-engine piper Cherokee, which is operated by a Goodyear flight school, ended up in an alfalfa field.

But both men on board walked away without any injuries.

The FAA said the piper had left Goodyear and was heading back to Goodyear.

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