A pair of planes collided over Alaska on Saturday afternoon, and the collision made national headlines over the weekend. According to NBC News, the collision and the crash that followed happened mid-air over the Matanuska-Susitna Valley at approximately 1 p.m. local time.
One might think that the pilots of both aircraft died because of this plane collision, but both pilots are alive. One of the pilots, Jeffry Bara, was seriously injured during the crash, according to Jobs & Hire. Authorities revealed that he was lucky to be alive, according to the local CBS News affiliate. Bara “reportedly had to be extricated from the rubble of his plane and was transferred via LifeMed to a nearby hospital.”
The other pilot involved in the air incident, Levi Duell, received only minor injuries, but he was taken to the hospital for an exam and treatment anyway. Duell is a pilot with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, and he was flying an Alaska State Trooper fixed-wing aircraft at the time of the incident.
Authorities have not revealed the reason for the mid-air collision. The weather is not considered a factor in the accident because the sky was bright and clear. The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating the incident to determine the cause of the mid-air collision.
Clint Johnson, one of the investigators with the NTSB, spoke about the incident on Saturday.
“Surprisingly, a lot of midairs take place in clear blue skies like yesterday.”
Johnson did give a status update on the investigation on Sunday.
“One of the witness did communicate that one of the wings actually separated from the airplane after the collision. The investigative team’s goal today is to document both wreckage sites with as much detail as we can possibly get. They’re in the process of interviewing each and every one of those witnesses from the vantage point that they actually saw it. So they get a little bit better of an idea of exactly how these two airplanes came together.”
The pilots of the two planes were the only two passengers on board the planes at the time. Witnesses saw the crash happen, and they called in the authorities.
The area surrounding the plane crash is known for having incidents like this in the past. Tom George, the Alaska regional manager for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, revealed that the “Matanuska Susitna Borough, where there are many private airstrips and pilots who fly small planes, has a history of deadly midair collisions.” In the area, the only way for pilots to avoid mid-air collisions is a process of “see and avoid.”
Stephanie Workman, a resident in the area, saw the helicopters investigating the crash scene from her home, and she offered her assistance. She shared her thoughts on the incident with the Alaska Dispatch News.
“In the air community, even if it’s somebody you don’t get along with on ground, a pilot is a pilot. We all look out for each other.”
According to a previous report from the Inquisitr, a Jet Blue flight missed a collision with a smaller aircraft just last week. The Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating this incident.
JetBlue Airways Flight 94 was on its final approach into an airport in New York when it nearly collided with a smaller plane that was using visual flight rules. The pilots of the Jet Blue flight were warned about the other aircraft, and they were able to pull up in time to avoid the collision.
The investigation into Alaska plane collision is still ongoing.