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Two aircraft collide near Long Beach, CaliforniaTwo aircraft collide near Long Beach, California

Two aircraft from the Long Beach (California) Flying Club collided over San Pedro Thursday afternoon and fell into the ocean, according to media reports. The Cessna 152 and Cessna 172 both carried a student and instructor. All four are presumed dead. The area above the harbor is a popular practice area since it is outside congested airspace near Long Beach and John Wayne airports and is underneath the Los Angeles Class B airspace.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is offering free to Southern California flight schools its "Seminar-in-Box" on collision avoidance. ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg noted, "While we don't know the specifics on this collision, the seminar program raises pilot awareness and provides tips to pilots of all experience levels." The program provides all of the materials needed to conduct a safety seminar. ASF is also conducting its free "Collision Avoidance" seminar at locations across the country. See the Web site for dates and locations. The program was offered at Long Beach during AOPA Expo in October last year.

Midair collisions remain relatively rare. There were 18 collisions in 2000, 17 in 1999.

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