Dodge City Community College says instructor and student died in Arizona crash


Plane sits near runway after collision with helicopter near Chandler, Arizona airport Oct. 1, 2021 (NBC News / KPNX-TV photo)

CHANDLER, Ariz. (KSNW) — Dodge City Community College (DC3) says one of its students and one of its instructors died last week when a helicopter crashed with a plane in Arizona.

The crash was last Friday morning, Oct. 1, at the Chandler Municipal Airport, in Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix. Officials say the helicopter crashed and burned after it collided in midair with a single-engine plane. The plane landed safely, but the two people on the helicopter died.

DC3 operates a helicopter flight instructor program in Chandler.

The school says Jessica Brandal, an instructor, and Michael Papendick, a student, are the two victims.

DC3 released this statement:

Because the families have asked for privacy during this time of grief, DC3 requests that the public honors their wishes. For those interested in giving memorial gifts, the Papendick Family has organized a “Remembering Michael Papendick” GoFundMe page at to help pay for funeral expenses and other financial obligations.”


The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board continue to investigate the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration released a statement after the incident.

A single-engine Piper PA-28 and a Robinson R22 helicopter collided in the vicinity of Chandler Municipal Airport in Arizona around 7:42 a.m. local time today. The helicopter crashed near the airport, and the airplane landed safely on the runway with a damaged landing gear. Initial reports indicate two people were aboard each aircraft.

FAA statement

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