Several people were killed after two airplanes collided in midair near McKinney, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016. The Federal Aviation Administration says the collision occurred shortly after 5:30 p.m. near Aero Country Airport. The private airport is about 35 miles north of downtown Dallas.

Air Force Academy cadet, father die in mid-air collision in Texas

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Cadet 4th Class Timothy Barber and father Greg Barber died; no control tower to guide traffic at the small airport.

By the Denver Post

An Air Force Academy cadet and his father, a retired Air Force pilot, died Saturday in a mid-air collision 35 miles north of Dallas, the CBS affiliate in Dallas reported.

Cadet 4th Class Timothy Barber was on Christmas break from the academy when the collision happened. His father, Greg Barber, and one other person also died in the crash, the Dallas Morning News reported.

There is no control tower to guide traffic at the small airport where witnesses said one aircraft hit the rear of the other, causing it to crash. The pilot of the other plane struggled to maintain control before it crashed into a storage unit business, the Dallas newspaper reported.

Federal Aviation Administration investigators are working to determine what caused the crash. The name of the other person has not been released.

The academy released a statement Monday calling the crash “a tragedy for the Barbers and for those of us in their Air Force family.”

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“Our thoughts are with them as well as with their friends and loved ones,” said Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson. “This is profoundly sad news for all of us at the Air Force Academy. We stand ready to support Cadet Barber’s family and also have resources at the ready to help cadets and staff to weather our loss.”

Keith Clifton, a family friend who is serving as family spokesperson, told the CBS affiliate that the pair were close and lived every minute to the fullest. “They were doing what they love,” he said.

He called the crash a tragic accident.

“He was an extremely accomplished pilot. It’s an accident. They call it that for a reason,” Clifton said. “A plane just won’t fly without his tail. He got clipped by the other plane. It’s a tragedy for everyone.”

By the Denver Post

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