Army Plane Crash in Arizona Kills One
Mar. 15, 2002 16:48
PHOENIX - An Army aircraft flown by the service's Golden Knights parachute team crashed after a mid-air collision with a small civilian plane in the skies over Arizona on Friday, killing one person, officials said.
The military plane crashed in the desert near Marana Air Park, a small airfield northwest of Tucson while the civilian plane was able to land, according to an Army spokesman.
A spokeswoman for Tucson's Northwest Fire District said firefighters arrived at the crash site and found one person dead. The deceased person was not immediately identified.
``When we examined the wreckage, we found one person inside who did not survive,'' said spokeswoman Kathryn Heiden.
Army spokesman Douglas Smith the Knights had already parachuted from the plane when the collision occurred.
``Initial reports indicate that the civilian plane, apparently a Cessna, was able to land safely after the incident,'' Smith said.
Speaking from the Recruiting Command headquarters at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Smith said the incident was being investigated. The Golden Knights, who make precision jumps with maneuvers in mid-air, are under the Recruiting Command.
The team is regularly stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, but it trains in Arizona during the winter months.
An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board was en route to the crash site.
This is the second major accident near the town's airport in as many years. An Osprey aircraft crashed near the airport while on a training mission in the late night hours of April 8, 2000, killing all 19 Marines on board.