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One Dead After Planes Collide in Oregon

One person is dead after two small planes collided on October 25, 2011 afternoon near Champoeg State Park in Oregon. The mid-air collision occurred around 4 p.m. over the Willamette River when a Beech Bonanza V35 plane collided with the tail section of a Piper PA-44. The pilot of the Beech Bonanza, a retired Oregon State Police officer, tried to maintain control of the aircraft as it started to break apart in the air but was unsuccessful. The plane spiraled into some trees and killed the pilot. The Piper aircraft was able to land safely in a field adjacent to Champoeg State Park. The flight instructor and student aboard the Piper were uninjured. Officials believe both planes were flying level when the mid-air collision occurred, but that has yet to be confirmed. Both the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the cause of the fatal crash. A preliminary report is expected within the next five days. A final report could take between six months to a year to complete. News story

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