2 dead in small plane collision in western NY

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LANCASTER, N.Y. (AP) — Two people, including a child, were killed when two small planes collided in western New York on Saturday at an event to introduce children to aviation, officials said.

The crash killed the pilot of one plane and a boy who was a passenger, Lancaster Police Chief Gerald J. Gill Jr. told The Buffalo News. Their names were not immediately released.

The Federal Aviation Authority said the planes collided about six miles east-southeast of Buffalo-Lancaster Regional Airport at about 10:40 a.m.

The midair collision involved a Cessna 172 and a SeaRey amateur-built aircraft, the FAA said. Authorities said the SeaRey landed safely in a field in Alden but the Cessna crashed in Lancaster.

Capt. Gregory Savage of the Erie County Sheriff's Department said the pilot of the SeaRey and a 9-year-old girl walked away from that plane.

The Experimental Aircraft Association told the newspaper that both planes were flying as part of an event called the Young Eagles rally.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the pilot and passenger involved in the mishap," the association said in a release.

Dick Knapinski, a spokesman for the Oshkosh, Wis.-based group, said the Young Eagles rallies are intended to introduce young people to aviation.

Knapinski said the association has flown nearly 1.9 million kids since 1992. This is the first fatal accident involving the Young Eagles program since 2006 in Washington state, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the collision.

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