Mid-air collisions are rare because they are separated by air traffic control, technology on-board large planes and well-defined visual flight rules in uncontrolled air space where many smaller aircraft operate. However, most mid-air collisions are fatal. The Wairarapa crash is one of a handful in New Zealand during the past 30 years and another close to an airfield when aircraft are in the most critical stage of flight - take off and landing. Figures from the United States show more than half of all collisions occur during approach, descent and landing or at take-off.

Mid-air collisions in NZ include:

What contributes to mid-air collisions

How to avoid collisions