Frederick, Maryland — A mid-air collision between a small plane and a helicopter left three people dead and two others with injuries on Thursday afternoon. The aviation accident occurred at around 3:40 p.m. near Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Maryland.
Officials say the Cirrus SR 22 plane was scheduled to land at Frederick Municipal Airport and the Robinson R44 helicopter was in the middle of a training exercise when the two aircrafts collided. A parachute attached to the frame of the Cirrus SR 22 was deployed in the immediate aftermath of the collision, resulting in the plane being set down safely. The helicopter ended up plummeting into a series of storage units and was completely destroyed.
According to NBC Washington, 29-year-old Christopher Parsons, 35-year-old Breandan MacFawn and 47-year-old William Jenkins, were killed in the collision and subsequent crash. All three men were aboard the chopper. At this time, it is unknown who was at the controls when the collision occurred. The two men in the plane, 55-year-old pilot, Scott V. Graeves, and 75-year-old passenger Gilbert L. Porter were hospitalized and later released.
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be conducting an investigation into the incident. So far, they have stated that weather was likely not a factor in the crash. Investigators will spend Friday combing the crash site and talking with witnesses.