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Crashes involving airplanes and wind turbines rare

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) -- Federal data indicate that wind turbines are not a major cause of airplane crashes.

A National Transportation Safety Board database lists only two crashes in which a plane struck a wind turbine, one in Palm Springs, California, in 2001, and one near the South Dakota town of Highmore in late April. That crash killed the pilot and three cattlemen returning from a sale in Texas of live cattle and embryos.

NextEra Energy Inc. operates 101 wind farms in 19 states and in Canada. Spokesman Steve Stengel says the statistics bear out the fact that wind farms are safe for aviation. He says they go through a review and approval process to make sure they are in appropriate areas.

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