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Phoenix, Two Training Aircraft Collided In Midair Killing All Onboard
By Mike Mitchell

May 31, 2013 - On Friday two single-engine planes collided over a training area in Phoenix, Arizona about 15 miles northwest of Deer Valley Airport killing all four onboard the two aircraft.

Around 10 AM, two training aircraft one from Westwind School of Aeronautics and the other was from TransPac Aviation Academy out of Deer Valley Airport, both aircraft were out practicing flight maneuvers when the aircraft collided in midair.

One of the aircraft operated by Westwind School of Aeronautics is believed to be a Cessna which was completely destroyed upon ground impact which then caught fire. The two onboard were burned and unrecognizable. The genders of the two were could not be determined because the bodies were so badly burnt. Identification will be made by the Medical Examiners Office.

The other aircraft which landed about 100 yards from the Cessna was a Piper Archer III, N327PA, operated by TransPac Aviation Academy which sustained major damage from a hard landing, the two onboard were killed. Chief Gary Bernard of the Peoria Fire Department said "I thought possibly we might have survivors".


Stephen Goddard, President and CEO of TransPac Aviation Academy said “I was terribly saddened to learn of the loss of two of our members of the TransPac Aviation Academy family. We extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and fellow colleagues of the two instructors that were lost today. The individuals involved were deeply connected here at TransPac and their loss is felt by all of us.

“The entire extended TransPac community, including our Alumni, is in shock and mourning for the loss of both of these two good men. We are not releasing personal information about the individuals at this time out of respect for the families during this time of sadness and grieving.



“TransPac officials are in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration, and we are extending our full cooperation to the National Transportation Safety Board for its investigation. In accordance with NTSB procedures, TransPac cannot comment on possible causes of the accident while the investigation is ongoing. The safety and security of our instructors and students is TransPac's highest priority.” 

Westwind School of Aeronautics and TransPac Aviation Academy provide educational and professional training to individuals with no prior aviation experience using classroom, small plane, and flight simulator training to achieve FAA-licensed commercial pilot status. Both academies’ are considered top flight schools in the U.S.


One of the pilots at TransPac has been identified as Paul Brownell, 37. He was employed with TransPac for 8 years holding the position as director of Standardization. Brownell was married and the father of two boys. It has been reported Brownell survived cancer. He was active in the youth ministries at Calvary Community Church in Phoenix.

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