Preliminary Accident Reports

July 2009 Issue

May 18, 2009, Long Beach, Calif., Cessna 310P/Cessna 172N

A witness flying in the immediate area reported noticing the 172N at his 10-to-11 o’clock position. The airplane appeared to be performing maneuvers and making turns in a counterclockwise direction, followed by a turn in a clockwise direction. The witness altered his course slightly to the right and monitored the Cessna’s location. As he looked to his right while turning, he noticed another airplane enter the area from the west, traveling at a high rate of speed on an easterly heading. Due to the sun being almost on the horizon, he was unable to identify the aircraft type, seeing only a "black object." Shortly afterward, the witness observed the airplanes collide. The witness reported the collision to ATC and circled the area until first responders arrived.

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