It looks as though it was the twin-engine Seminole that caused the mid-air collision between it and a Beech Bonanza near Newberg, Oregon. The crash killed the the 58-year old Bonanza pilot. The Oregonian quotes sources saying that:
the larger Piper PA-44 Seminole was executing training maneuvers in the area, making a series of rapid ascents and descents shortly after 4 p.m., when it came down upon a Beech Bonanza V35. . . [cutting it in two].
The Seminole (N3062H) was owned by Hillsboro Aviation, a flight school in Hillsboro, Oregon. As it turns out, the crash was not the flight school’s first. In fact, in recent years the school has been plagued with training accidents. The most serious of those was in September, 2009, when both a Hillsboro Aviation flight instructor and his student were killed while training in a Robinson R22 helicopter.
In addition to this week’s fatal accident, and the one in 2009, Hillsboro Aviation aircraft have crashed in June 2008, June 2010, September 2010, and October 2010.
In August 2010, the FAA indicated its intent to fine Hillsboro Aviation $580,000 for numerous safety violations, including improper maintenance of its aircraft. Though the FAA investigation looked into the September 2009 fatal helicopter crash, the FAA ultimately decided to levy the fine for violations unrelated to that crash — specifically for what it found to be Hillsboro’s intentional falsification of various aircraft maintenance records.
Of course, Tuesday’s crash may be entirely unrelated to the previous Hillsboro Aviation training crashes and the conduct for which the FAA cited the flight school. Nonetheless, the school’s safety record is abysmal.
Yet, Hillsboro Aviation remains in operation.