Florida midair involved training aircraft

December 10, 2008

A midair on Dec. 6 over the Florida Everglades involved a Cessna 172 and Piper PA-44 Seminole on training flights. The student and instructor in each aircraft were killed.

The accident occurred in visual meteorological conditions in a common training area. The NTSB has not yet issued its preliminary report on the accident.

“Although midair collisions are extremely rare, the high-traffic airspace in this area requires all pilots to exercise extreme vigilance,” said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

The foundation’s 2007 Joseph T. Nall Report, which examines accident trends and factors from 2006, states that six midair collisions occurred during the year, down from 10 in 2005. Of the six collisions, four were fatal, killing a total of nine people. Most midairs occur during day VFR conditions, according to the report.

Instructional flying comprises 13.3 percent of all GA accidents and 7.7 percent of fatal accidents. In 2006, 18 of the 144 flight training accidents were fatal. Instructional accidents improved 12.7 percent over 2005, which totaled 165 accidents.

In the wake of the midair, AOPA explained these safety statistics to reporters covering the accident.