Three Dead, 3 Injured in Idaho Airport Collision

Two small airplanes collided at the McCall Municipal Airport and burst into flames, killing three and sending three others to hospitals, a federal aviation official said Saturday.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor in Los Angeles said the accident happened when a Cessna 172 with two people aboard was landing and struck another Cessna 172 with four people aboard on the runway about 7 p.m. Friday. Both aircraft exploded on impact, he said.

KTVB in Boise reported that Bill Keating, 52, of McCall, the pilot of one of the aircraft, and two grandsons, ages 1 and 6, from Caldwell, died at the scene.

Another grandson, 2, was flown to the University of Utah Burn Center in critical condition with third-degree burns, KTVB reported. A spokeswoman said she could give no information on the child's condition Saturday because of federal privacy laws.

The pilot of the other aircraft, Justin Mooney, 30, of Post Falls, and passenger Mark Fuller, 27, of Hayden, pulled the 2-year-old from the burning plane. They were treated and released from McCall Memorial Hospital, a nursing supervisor said Saturday.

Gregor said Mooney and Fuller had taken off from Felts Field at Spokane, Wash., and were landing at the McCall airstrip when the planes collided. Keating had picked up his grandsons at Caldwell about 6 p.m. and flew to McCall for a visit, KTVB reported.

The McCall airport, which has no air traffic control tower, remained closed Saturday while the cause of the accident was investigated. FAA inspectors were on the scene Saturday morning and a National Transportation Safety Board inspector was en route, Gregor said.