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Going Direct: NY Times Alaska Midair Coverage Is Scary

De Haviland Beaver
A De Havilland Beaver similar to the one seen here, was involved in a midair collision in Alaska. Photo by Dllu [CC BY-SA 4.0]
When two small planes, a de Havilland Beaver and a de Havilland turbine Otter, collided in midair near Ketchikan, Alaska, two days ago, it was sobering. The Otter was a charter flight operating for a cruise ship company, Princess Cruises, and the Beaver was a private sightseeing flight, the pilot of which is required to be at least a commercial pilot. Six were killed when the planes collided near the glacier they were carrying passengers to see. Ten more were injured. 

In a vacuum the crash would raise real questions. The biggest is this: In an area of great public interest where there are frequently multiple aircraft operating at about the same altitude, flying the same route or orbiting around the same feature, why isn’t there some kind of plan in place to keep them separated?

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