The NTSB is investigating. It happened at dusk, around 5:20PM, which is always a low visibility time as the sun falls behind the mountains. The two planes have limited visual range, huge blind spots. The 4 seater Cessna has wings above the pilots visual range, the 8 seater Piper wings are below. If one was banking in a downward turn and the other happened to be heading upwards at the same time and same altitude they would not even see one another until too late. They were flying in opposite directions though, so perhaps it was a case of last minute sun glare, or someone looking away for a moment? Forall we know, a pilot may have had a sudden medical problem? Too many questions. The young pilot had been solo flying for over a year, and was considered very adept.
I know how easy it is to change lanes in a car on a busy highway and not see someone coming up alongside you.
[This message has been edited by Midnitesun (01-26-2003 09:50 AM).]