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Helicopter-plane collision barely missed a ‘catastrophic’ outcome

A collision between a helicopter and a plane in the Bay Area could have been "catastrophic" had it occurred slightly differently, according to the owner of the flight school whose student was in the helicopter.

He said the plane hit the chopper from behind in such a way that both aircraft were able to land safely.

"A few feet higher, it would've been catastrophic because the plane would've crashed right into the copter," Wayne Prodger, owner of Vertical CFI Helicopters in Hayward, told the Associated Press.

Instead, the pilots suffered only minor injuries

The accident took place about midway between Oakland and Sacramento, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor. The collision was reportedly between a Beechcraft Bonanza and a Robinson R22 helicopter, Gregor said.

The helicopter landed about eight miles south of Rio Vista Municipal Airport, while the plane landed near Byron Airport, about 20 miles to the south, Gregor said.

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-- Jeff Gottlieb and Shelby Grad

 
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