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3 Dead After Midair Collision Near Frederick Airport

FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) -- A nightmare scenario at Frederick Municipal airport: A helicopter on a training flight and a plane coming in to land collide in the air.

Rick Ritter has details.

The three people who died in the crash were all on board the helicopter. Two of them were from Maryland. Meanwhile, the people on board the plane survived.

Investigators say the two occupants on the plane somehow survived. Both are out of the hospital.

Two different scenes with debris scattered everywhere. It's all the aftermath of a horrifying crash in Frederick County.

"It's a tragic day when something like this happens," said Jeremiah George, local resident.

Just after 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sky Eye Chopper 13 captured the wreck.

"Now here is the wreckage of the Robinson R22 helicopter, in between this row of buildings here. Heavily, heavily damaged," Captain Jeff Long reported.

Police say a small plane and helicopter collided in midair near the Frederick Municipal Airport, sending the chopper tumbling down.

The helicopter crashed by a self-storage facility. That's where police found three people dead.

About 100 yards away rested what's left of the small airplane in a tree. Emergency crews transported two occupants on board to the hospital.

"The two occupants from the airplane have been released from the hospital. One is uninjured," said Brian Rayner, NTSB investigator.

A deployed parachute was also found nearby the scene. Investigators say it was mounted to the airframe of the plane.

"That's used and deployed to lower the airplane safely when a safe landing can't be completed," said Rayner.

Plenty of questions remain unanswered.

"One of the things I am going to look into is whether or not it was a pleasure flight, training flight," Rayner said.

"Very sad. I mean, three people, lives lost. That touches a lot of people's lives," said George.

The three deceased victims are identified as Christopher Parsons, 29, of Westminster, Williams Jenkins, 47, of Morrison, Colorado and Breandan MacFawn, 35, of Cumberland.

The NTSB says they're assembling a large group of experts to investigate the scene over the next 24 hours.

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