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Planes Collide Near Boulder; 5 Dead

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Planes Collide Near Boulder; 5 Dead

Old 02-06-2010, 02:25 PM
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Default Planes Collide Near Boulder; 5 Dead

BOULDER, Colo. - Five people were killed when a small aircraft struck the tow cable of another airplane that was pulling a glider over Boulder on Saturday, fire officials and media reports.

Four people who died in the collision were aboard a Cirrus plane that hit the tow line, NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver reported. Another person on the tow plane also was killed.

Video on MSNBC showed an aircraft on fire, floating toward the ground below a large parachute.

Bruce Mygatt of the Boulder, Colo., fire department said the glider was able to detach itself and glide back to the airport. He said the parachute was attached to the Cirrus.

"It's still a very chaotic situation," a Boulder County Sheriff's dispatcher told The Denver Post.

The collision resulted in three separate wreckage sites, authorities said.
Witness Adam Baldochhi told The Denver Post he saw what appeared to be a parachute coming from a glider. The other aircraft, a small plane, went down in flames and smoke, the newspaper reported.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:41 PM
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Blue skies..

Anyone know more about the Cirrus parachutes? Is it possible that the slow descent of the parachute would make an on board or rather engine bay fire worse? Are they command activated or automatic?

Tragic none the less.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:59 PM
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Extremely sad to hear about this mishap.

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Old 02-06-2010, 05:59 PM
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The parachutes are command activated. There is a handle in the ceiling of the aircraft between the pilot and co-pilot. Pull the handle out and it dangles from a cable. Two hands, pull straight down with 35lbs of force (don't jerk it). It is a very deliberate pull. The only way it would make a fire worse is if it caused you to remain aloft for a longer period of time, which is what it is designed to do. Each Cirrus is also equipped with a fire extinguisher, but there is only so much you can do in a case like this one.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:25 PM
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There's word in the glider community that the Cirrus hit the Pawnee, not the rope.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:02 AM
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It may be a rumot, but supposibly the glider has it all on video. Regardless, RIP fellow aviators...
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Twin Wasp View Post
There's word in the glider community that the Cirrus hit the Pawnee, not the rope.
That makes a heck of a lot more sense.
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:24 AM
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The video on msnbc is dramatic and very sad when you consider the lives on board that aircraft.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:06 PM
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Default Update . . .

Updated info in this article.

Boulder plane crash victims identified | coloradoan.com | The Coloradoan

According to the article, the tow pilot saw the midair coming at the last second and disconnected the tow. The airplanes struck each other, not the cable.
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Old 02-08-2010, 04:01 PM
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Three fatalities, I guess that's better than five. RIP.
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