DeltaAir From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1094 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 659 times:
The single-engine planes each carried two people, said Pat Cariseo, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington.
A controller had cleared one of the planes for takeoff from one of the airport’s two runways, Cariseo said. At the same time, the other plane requested permission to position the aircraft and hold on the same runway, a normal procedure before taking off. Controllers granted the request.
What happened next is not immediately clear, Cariseo said.
The planes, a Cessna 152 and a Cessna 172, collided at 10:37 a.m., airport spokesman Jim Naiman said.
No one on the ground was injured.
``There was a big fire, so everyone went out there,” said Rosalie Radtke, a secretary for Sarasota Avionics, located about a quarter-mile away. ``All the guys saw was a big ball of fire.”
The airport, about 50 miles south of Tampa, handles general aviation, domestic jet service and international charter flights from Canada. The airport handles 1.5 million passengers a year. Miami International Airport, by comparison, has about 34 million passengers a year.
Officials closed one runway after the crash, but it may reopen late Thursday evening, Naiman said.
Cariseo said NTSB investigators from Miami and Washington were en route to the crash site.
No other details were immediately available.
This is the second crash at the airport in the last 24 hours. A single-engine aircraft had trouble with its landing gear and belly landed at the airport Wednesday. There were no injuries in that incident.