School Owner: CA Midair Crash Could've Been Deadly

Published February 20, 2012 6:45PM (EST)

ANTIOCH, Calif. (AP) — The owner of a helicopter flight school with a student who was involved in a midair collision over Northern California says the aircraft narrowly escaped what could have been a deadly crash.

Wayne Prodger, the owner of Vertical CFI Helicopters in Hayward, tells The Associated Press the chopper pilot, a 29-year-old woman, is an experienced commercial airplane pilot who was logging night-flying hours toward a helicopter license.

Prodger says the woman told him she briefly saw the Beechcraft Bonanza behind her around 7 p.m. Sunday. The next thing she knew, the plane struck the chopper's skids and she was falling to the ground.

He declined to give his student's name, saying she's still shaken up. Both pilots suffered only minor injuries.

Prodger says it would have been a full-on collision if the Beechcraft was just a few feet higher.

By Salon Staff

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