It was supposed to be an exciting weekend until everything went terrifyingly wrong in a split second for two planes, each full of excited skydivers. CNN reports that those two planes endured a mid-air collision, but everyone on both planes safely landed on the ground. Miraculously, only two passengers were injured in the crash!
The crash took place last weekend above Superior, Wisconsin near the Minnesota border. The two planes were flying close together as the divers were going to jump in formation, but the lead plane (carrying four plus the pilot) crashed into the trailing plane (carrying five plus the pilot).
Skydive Superior instructor Mike Robinson, speaking with reporters, said “It’s definitely a reminder of the danger of the sport that we all love.”
A Battalion Chief with the Superior Fire Department, Vern Johnson, told CNN that the lead plane’s pilot reported a loud bang before seeing the windshield shatter. Video footage appears to show the plane breaking up and catching fire in mid-air.
The moment nearly killed everyone on the plane. Fortunately, Robinson says, “Everybody got out safely. The pilot got out safely, used his emergency parachute and landed… In the trail plane, all five jumpers got out of the airplane safely and landed safely.”
Chief Johnson said the lead plane’s pilot “was visibly bloodied about his face and shirt and had one hand wrapped in a garment, but was otherwise lucid, alert and oriented.” The trailing plane’s pilot managed to regain control of the damaged vehicle, and flew it safely onto the runway. He picked up the lead pilot as he taxied.
A statement on Skydive Superior’s Facebook page said “The jumpers and pilots have been through a very surreal experience, and they are lucky and thankful to be alive.”
This news clip features terrifying video from the helmet cams of the skydivers:
If you’re still interested, here’s a small set of interviews with some of the skydivers and pilots:
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]