The pilots of two small airplanes that collided mid-air in Florida Tuesday could not have been conscious that the opposite was close by once they crashed into one another, in response to an air security inspector.

The crash, which resulted within the demise of 4 folks, occurred over Lake Hartridge in Winter Haven, about 45 miles southwest of Orlando. It concerned a Piper J-3 Cub seaplane and a Cherokee Piper 161 fixed-wing aircraft, in response to the Nationwide Transportation Security Board.

“All preliminary indications we’ve got, and once more that is preliminary, have been that the Cherokee was self-announcing its location and its intention, and the Cub was not,” Lynn Spencer, an air security investigator for the japanese area of the NTSB, mentioned Thursday. “This would possibly point out that the Cherokee was unaware of the Cub, and if the Cub couldn’t hear what the Cherokee was asserting, they could have been unaware of the Cherokee.”

The Cherokee Piper got here nose-to-nose with the Cub because it was making a left, descending flip, Spencer mentioned at a information convention. The Cub “tried an evasive maneuver,” she mentioned.

“We have no idea what both pilot might see at this level within the investigation. It’s too early to have that data,” Spencer mentioned.

The NTSB will look into the planes’ gear to find out what means they needed to see one another, she mentioned. Each planes have been recovered, aside from the suitable wing of the Cherokee Piper.

“Our preliminary data at this level is that neither airplane had any form of avoidance system radar that may have alerted them to the opposite plane,” Spencer mentioned, noting that it’s not required {that a} pilot talk or have a radio within the airspace the place the crash came about.

Spencer mentioned in all these planes, pilots should ensure that they’re visually and spatially conscious whereas flying.

“Each pilot has a duty to see and keep away from. It’s a primary regulation. That mentioned, there are limitations imposed by the airframe itself,” she mentioned.

The investigation into the crash stays ongoing, the NTSB mentioned, including that they’ve met with the airport supervisor.

“Our aim on the NTSB is to seek out the possible trigger and to enhance aviation security,” Spencer mentioned. “We are going to attempt to stop this accident from occurring once more on this space.”

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