Two people, including a Navy veteran, were killed when an airplane and helicopter collided in midair.
Both victims were in the helicopter, which crashed and caught fire Friday in the skies above Chandler, Ariz., just outside Phoenix. The plane landed safely on the Chandler Municipal Airport runway, according to police.
One of the dead, Michael Papendick, 34, was a husband and father of an 11-month old daughter, Aubrey, according to ABC15. He served seven years in the Navy before recently moving to Phoenix to pursue a career as a pilot.
“He wanted to fly for the police or EMS and then do some tours in Hawaii and all that fun stuff. He had the adrenaline of being in the sky,” said his wife, Becca Papendick.
The second victim has not yet been identified.
“The helicopter went down really fast. They did collide in the air. The plane I know for sure was on final to land, so it was just about to be landing,” said eyewitness Tyler Detwiler, a student pilot at the airport.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have taken over the investigation.
“I don’t have any information on the cause of this incident,” Chandler Police spokesman Sgt. Jason McClimans told reporters. “We’re asking for people who were possibly in the area that witnessed or may have video recording of this incident to contact the Chandler Police Department.”