While many people undertake and receive their pilot’s license, allowing them to fly small planes, they may be unaware of the dangers associated with private planes. General aviation, which is defined as all domestic civilian flights except commercial trips, has become safer since the 1970s. However, it still remains much more dangerous than a commercial flight and the accident rate hasn’t changed much over the past decade. According to an NTSB report that was released in 2010, the death rate still hovers at about 1 death per 100,000 flight hours. The rate for personal flights has actually increased by 25% over the past decade.
First Coast News reports on a mid-air collision between two planes that left one pilot dead and another injured.
According to the Federal Aviation Commission, the accident happened at about 11:36 a.m. on Wednesday. It was located at the Haller Airpark in Green Cove Springs.
David Alston Dollarhide was one of the pilots. He was attempting a takeoff and banked to one side. This put him in the path of another plane being piloted by Robert Henry Woolley, 74.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers say that the mid-air collision sheared Woolley’s wing, causing his plane to fall from the sky. Dollarhide was able to land his plane safely. He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Woolley’s plane was found about three miles south of the fairgrounds. He did not survive the crash.
The Florida State Patrol is leading the investigation and is being assisted by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.