FAA: Two killed in midair collision in Virginia
December 31st, 2010
04:01 PM ET

FAA: Two killed in midair collision in Virginia

An airborne single-engine plane collided with a medical-evacuation helicopter at Virginia's Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport on Friday, killing two people, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The incident involved a single-engine Cessna 172 and Eurocopter EC135 MedEvac helicopter, the FAA's Jim Peters said. The two who died were on the single-engine plane; the helicopter landed safely with no injuries aboard, the FAA said.

Read coverage from CNN affiliate WHSV.

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Filed under: Air travel • Virginia
soundoff (171 Responses)


    December 31, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      "not" *

      December 31, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jodabe79

      the helicopter had very little damage done to it. it visibly looked fine. he had to have seen the plane. i watched it for several seconds before the collision

      December 31, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      This is the reason 1950's predictions about flying cars never came to pass. All we need are thousands of incompetent, texting drivers falling out of the skies onto people, houses, etc.

      December 31, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Use UNICOM. Other first rule when flying near uncontrolled airports.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • BimBum

      I totally agree with Richard's comment
      and pray I never see the day when flying cars come to be!!
      It will be utter chaos in the air,
      with (literal) fallout on the ground below!

      We need to cure our transportational difficulties some other way.
      How's about we stop reproducing ad infinitum? ad nauseum?
      Mehhh...too easy.

      January 1, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • ChinookMMA

      max gross weight for an EC-135P2+ is 6415lbs, 6250 for most of the other mods of the EC-135.

      January 1, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jon

    I've flown a Cessna 172, back when I took some flying lessons in high school. It's a small plane, like a Ford Taurus with wings. I guess we'll have to wait for the FAA or NTSB to say what the cause was...

    December 31, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aardvark

      Smaller than that! You cant fit 5 people into a Cessna 172!

      December 31, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • wolfymode

      Rob, the guy was just stating his credentials, lest some other poster reply with "and how do you know about a Cessna 172?..." etc.

      December 31, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • dcase

      A 172 is a 4 seat airplane that holds at best 3 adults. Four people if two of them are kids.

      December 31, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erik

      I'm sorry, did he specify how many seats the plane had? He simply compared the physical size of a Cessna 172 to that of a well-known passenger car, so that people who aren't familiar with such aircraft would have a rough idea of how small it is and not assume it's say, the size of a leer jet. Stop nitpicking.

      January 1, 2011 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    I agree...there's not enough info at this time. It just always kills me to read about mid-air collisions; what could be more vast than the SKY? I don't know how collisions happen sometime-are they playing chicken up there?
    Condolences to the families.

    December 31, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      It kills YOU? Must have been quite a crash.

      December 31, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Collisions in the air happen for the same reason collisions on the road happen at intersections. The collision was very likely near an airport.

      December 31, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Y2the12th

      I know what is more vast than the sky....it's the empty space between your ears

      December 31, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. greg

    did ya'll here about lynyrd skynyrd........their plane crashed.

    December 31, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Frank

    So... how does a plane hit a helicopter and nothing happens to the helicopter? Was the plane made out of paper mache

    December 31, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      If it was, it's made out of confetti now.

      December 31, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • UH60L

      Noone said nothing happenned to the helicopter, they said there were no injuries on the helicopter.

      Big difference.

      December 31, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • db

      Plane pilot could have paniced and lost control of the airplane. Sounds like the Helicopter was lucky if indeed contact was made. Perhaps the helicopter flew over the airplane and upset it. In any case, the most damage was probably when the plane hit the ground. I have flown 83 different kinds of aircraft and have been flying since 1963, and yes I fly both single and multiengine helicopters and airplanes, as well as sea planes, and gliders. db

      December 31, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pilot-1

      I've been a pilot for more than 40 years —just establishing my credibility.

      A Cessna 172 is a high-wing aircraft and if it snagged the chopper's landing skid It is possible that could have caused damage to the wing. This could have caused loss of lift and an uncontrolled spin.

      Just speculation, folks.

      December 31, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tammy

    Is showing respect no longer happening in this world,condolences to the families on the loss of loved ones.

    December 31, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • EvoDevo

      Don't try to make sense of these posts or expect compassion here. We come to vent, somtimes with gallows humor. No ones views CNN postings for solace.

      December 31, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • anne

      Wow, out of 12 responses only one was human and we wonder why the world is what it is now!

      December 31, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      tammy's new around here, gotta toughen up.

      December 31, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • UH60L

      Well, I don't condone alot of these posts, some have nothing to do with anything, but the reality is, this is a news website, not a funeral parlor.

      This is a place to discuss the news story, and good or bad, people are discussing it..........

      Now if they were standing next to the wreckage of the plane making these comments, I'd beat the crap out of a bunch of them, but, this is just a website. People should not make it into something it's not. (IE the real world)

      December 31, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • db

      Respect on blogs, you have to be kidding. There is no such thing in namby pamby land where annominity prevails

      December 31, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • captainboss

      What do you expect from a nation of wussies???

      December 31, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTroll

      Hey db, I know who you are! You're that ex-drill sergeant turned psychologist on those car insurance commercials!

      January 1, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. SAF

    "What could be more vast than the sky?"
    -Not true in the airspace around an airport...Multiple aircraft needing to utilize a common approach path...Agree with Parrott "See and be seen!"

    December 31, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jack

    can you just imagine the impact incurred by the helicopter? assuming he got hit at 70-90 knots by the cessna plus whatever the heli was flying at, the fact that the helicopter landed without further loss of life is amazing.

    December 31, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gisele

    The amount of disrespect and wanton hatefulness in some of these messages is appalling. There is something about CNN which attracts the worst lowlifes on the Internet. When reading the comments at Huffington Post there is occasional trash-talk, but never anything at this level. I hate to think that some of these who post the most outrageous and disrespectful comments could be my neighbors... or even people I do business with! Good God!

    December 31, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      So Gizzy, where you gonna move to?

      December 31, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pinhead Detector

      Hey Al, do the world a favor, pull your bottom lip over your head and swallow.

      December 31, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee G

      @ Pinhead – Nice One! I was getting a bit sick of Al's rude remarks myself!

      December 31, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluenote

      Really? You should see some of the stuff on the blog section at Ebaumsworld. It's the worst of the lowest of the worst there is on the 'net, and I'm proud/ashamed to be a part of it.

      January 1, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Nate C

      Good one, pinhead. That was one of my favorite cutdowns back in 5th grade.

      January 1, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. banasy

    It's called Gallows Humor...

    December 31, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dj

    Gisele, we post so people like you can feel superior.

    December 31, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pinhead Detector

      Don't worry dj...your posts are not necessary for most people to feel that way.

      December 31, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bill

    This is a made up story

    December 31, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bill

    As one who has lost a relative in a mid air collision, try this.
    Imagine a car collision. Now imagine instead of the just the X and Y axis you also have the third dimension.
    Rockford Illinois, 1976. I was 10 years old. Can you see in 360* just walking down the street? Then how do you do it in an airplane when scanning a panel is part of the gig? Left right panel up down panel. Call your position on Unicom.
    Easier said than done. Should conflict alert equipment be required in GA like Mode C was years ago?
    A better 2011 to all.

    December 31, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      bill @ 501 is NOT bill @ 509 I'm bill @ 509

      December 31, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Sorry, bill. Thinking in terms of the 3 primary ordinates is beyond the intellectual capacity of 95% of CNN readers. The other 5% don't read CNN.

      December 31, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pinhead Detector

    I don't care what the hell you call it. Calling it "gallows humor" does not excuse the behavior. A person has to be seriously mentally disturbed to make fun of the death of people they didn't even know anything about. Quit making excuses for yourselves and grow up.

    December 31, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jodabe79

    the helicopter landed tapped the top of the plane. the wing fell of the plane and it went down fast. the helicopter was fine and looked to me had plenty of time to avoid the accident. i should know. i saw it happen.

    December 31, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • txcavu

      jodabe79...thank you for providing information.

      December 31, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • txcavu


      December 31, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
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