By PATTY NIEBERG
DENVER (AP) — The pilot of an airplane that collided with another midair near Denver requested an emergency landing for engine failure, not knowing that his plane was nearly ripped in half, according to air traffic control audio. Miraculously, both planes landed and no one was hurt, officials said.
The planes were getting ready to land at a small regional airport in a Denver suburb Wednesday when they collided, according to the National Transportation Safety Board and South Metro Fire Rescue.
The pilot who requested the emergency landing was the only person aboard a twin-engine Fairchild Metroliner that landed at Centennial Airport despite major damage to its tail section. The plane is owned by a Colorado-based Key Lime Air, which operates cargo aircraft.
“Looks like the right engine failed, so I’m gonna continue my landing here,” the pilot said in an audio clip with air traffic control.
Experts say the positive outcome of the collision was a combination of luck and advanced life-saving technology.(AP).