VIDEO: Mid-Air Miracle, Two Skydiving Planes Collide And 11 Passengers Survive
A weekend midair collision over northern Wisconsin sent one small plane in pieces back to the ground, while the other was able to make an emergency landing. Both planes were owned by the same company, and carrying skydivers, which a total of 11 people between the two planes.
“We were just kind of lucky that we were at the point where we were out of the airplane,’ said 64-year-old flight instructor Mike Robinson, who was in the lead plane. ”It’s definitely a reminder of the danger of the sport that we all love.”
“If we’d been back in the rear of the airplane when they collided it might have been a little bit different.”
The collision sent one of the planes off into fire-balling into the distance, which can be seen in video that was taken from the helmet of one of the divers, Amy Polson, who inside the lead plane when it made contact with the second, causing an eruption of flames, and was seen by spectators on the ground. All nine skydivers involved miraculously survived by spontaneously jumping out seconds after the crash and landing safely on the ground.
Once out of the plane, the parachuters had to carefully maneuver their chutes to stay out of the path of raining debris. “We’re in free fall, so we’re falling about 120 miles miles an hour vertically down,” Mr. Robinson said. “But then we open our parachutes, and now all of a sudden they’re falling faster than we are…Fortunately, everybody kept it together so they just avoided (the debris).”
Both wings came off the lead plane in the collision and the pilot had to abandon the plane using a parachute on board. He was the only one with reported injuries, suffering from cuts as he exited the burning plane. Miraculously, no one on the ground was injured by the falling wreckage – but plenty saw them crash to the ground.
The pilot of the other plane was able to pull out of a dive and land at Richard I. Bong Airport in Douglas County.
While Mr. Robinson still doesn’t know why exactly the two planes collided, he believes the lead plane may have created unstable air for the tracking plane. Mr. Robinson says the crash yesterday happened during the fourth jump of his day, and that he’s done over 900 jumps in his lifetime.
The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the crash today.
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