The midair collision of two small planes about 50 miles from Washington is under investigation by Canadian officials because one plane was owned by an FAA employee and the other by an NTSBemployee, federal officials said Tuesday.
On Monday afternoon, a Piper PA-28 registered to a Federal Aviation Administration employee and a Beechcraft BE-35 owned by a National Transportation Safety Board employee collided in flight above Fauquier County, Virginia, authorities said.
The pilot and a passenger of the BE-35 were killed, but the owner and pilot of the PA-28 survived with injuries, authorities said.
NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman consulted with FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta and requested the Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigate the incident, she said in a statement Tuesday.
"This accident hits especially close to home, with the involvement of an NTSB employee," Hersman said. "I'm grateful to TSB-Canada Chair Wendy Tadros for agreeing to conduct the investigation and the NTSB stands ready to support and assist them in any way we can."
An NTSB investigator will serve as a U.S. liaison to Canadian investigators, authorities said.
The midair collision happened about five miles south of the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport around 4 p.m. Monday.
"One plane has been destroyed by fire," Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said on Monday. "In that plane, which is believed to be a six-seater aircraft, two bodies have been recovered. State police are in the process of identifying the pilot and passenger."
The second plane's pilot, an adult male, was transported to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, according to state police.
The two planes crashed to the ground approximately a mile apart from one another, state police said. Parts of the planes and debris were scattered between the two crash sites in a secluded and difficult to access area, state police said.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation, state police said.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times