A Beechcraft Bonanza and a Robinson R22 collided in midair near Rio Vista Airport on Sunday night, but both pilots managed to land the aircraft without sustaining serious injuries.
The R22 pilot, a 29-year-old commercial pilot who was working on accumulating night hours for her helicopter rating at the time, said she saw the Bonanza behind her for a brief moment before the two aircraft clipped each other. According to Wayne Prodger, the owner of the flight school that rented out the helicopter, the Bonanza hit the R22’s skids.
After the collision, the R22 pilot managed to put the aircraft down off Highway 160, approximately eight miles south of Rio Vista Airport, while the Bonanza pilot landed some 20 miles south in a field just shy of Byron Airport.
The helicopter flipped over upon landing, but the pilot turned off the fuel and exited unscathed. Similarly, the Bonanza pilot and passenger sustained no serious injuries during their emergency landing.