CORONA, Calif. (AP) _ Two small planes that collided and rained debris over a neighborhood clipped wings as one circled over a closed airport, a preliminary report concluded.

The right wingtip of a descending twin-engine Cessna 310 hit the left wing of a single-engine Cessna 152, which was circling over Corona Municipal Airport at 3,000 feet, investigators said.

``Minutes before the collision, the aircraft were approaching head-on,'' said Thomas Wilcox, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.

The preliminary investigation did not assign blame for the crash.

Killed in the crash were Perry Armstrong, 56, David Cash, 56, and Lee H. Hunter, 49.

Two dozen families were forced to evacuate their homes when hot debris from the crash torched a large house and a dozen condominium units.

The NTSB findings were based on interviews with eyewitnesses, video of the crash recorded by a teen-ager and examination of the wreckage.

A final report could take up to eight months.