Transportation

3 dead after 2 small planes collide in air and crash in western NY

Three people died on Sunday after two small planes collided in the air and then crashed in western New York, The Buffalo News reported.

The FAA said the incident happened around 9:30 a.m. Sunday in North Collins, south of Buffalo. One of the planes was a Cessna 120; the other was a Piper PA-28.

One person who died was a 60-year-old Hamburg man. The other two were a couple from Eden, both 69, according to The Buffalo News.

Erie County Sheriff's Office Chief Scott Joslyn said the planes departed from Hamburg Airport, about 10 miles away from the crash site.

The pilots of each aircraft were experienced amateur pilots with at least 15 years of experience flying. The planes were in a group of six that took off together and were flying to St. Mary's, PA to get breakfast, The Buffalo News reported.

"We're all shaking in our boots now," said airport Vice President Larry Walsh.

The FAA said it would investigate, and the National Transportation Safety Board would determine the cause of the incident.

"We have several eyewitnesses who saw the planes approaching before there was contact," Joslyn told The Buffalo News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.