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NTSB Investigating Midair Collision Over Boca Raton, FloridaAired June 23, 2000 - 2:07 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: As we've been reporting this afternoon, about two hours ago a plane collision occurred just west of Boca Raton, Florida, which is in between West Palm and Miami, Florida. We hear a Lear jet collided with a smaller plane and perhaps three people are dead that were on those planes.
We have on the line with us Jamie Finch with the National Transportation Safety Board.
Mr. Finch, can you add more details of what happened today?
JAMIE FINCH, NTSB: The information that we have now is still preliminary. NTSB investigators from our Miami office have arrived on scene. The investigator has confirmed that it was a midair between a Lear jet and some type of experimental aircraft. Other details will be coming as they will follow later.
We are trying to confirm the number of fatalities. We believe there may have been three passenger on the Lear jet at this time. We do not know the number of passengers on the experimental aircraft.
ALLEN: One eyewitness reported seeing a parachute. Would the pilot of that experimental aircraft, which has also been described to us as a stunt plane, would it have been customary for a pilot to be wearing a parachute?
FINCH: It's according to the type of aircraft that's flying. But that's still preliminary and we probably couldn't comment on that yet.
ALLEN: We've also been told by the sheriff's department that this Lear jet had taken off just previously from an executive airport. In Atlanta a couple of years ago we had a crash of a small jet that had taken off from an executive airport and collided with a smaller plane on takeoff. What are the rules surrounding the smaller airports, like executive airports in cities?
FINCH: I am not with the investigative team. I would have to get another person for you to get that information. There are rules and regulations, obviously, that affect the air traffic around these airports. But I do not have that information in front of me right now.
ALLEN: Is it usually up to the pilots, I would take it, No. 1, to be on the lookout for other aircraft?
FINCH: Well, pilots are always supposed to be aware and alert of what is happening around them in their surroundings while they're flying no matter what type of air traffic control is happening.
ALLEN: Have they confirmed -- we've had sketchy information today. And I know this is just -- it hasn't been very long since these planes collided. Have they found the wreckage of the second aircraft?
FINCH: According to our investigator, they have not located that experimental aircraft wreckage yet.
ALLEN: So perhaps they are frantically looking for that now.
We thank you, Jamie Finch, with the NTSB, and we'll continue to follow developments on that story today.
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