Skydiving is as safe as any other extreme sport, but that doesn’t mean it’s very safe. You have daredevils who do crazy 24-mile falls, and other people apparently jump from planes and simply disappear. Neither of those two things happened in the skies over Lake Superior in Minnesota. It was something somehow more impressive than that. Two planes loaded with skydivers collided, with one plane catching fire and tumbling to the ground. There were absolutely no deaths or maimings. Two planes full of skydivers crashed in midair and no one was seriously hurt.
“We do this all the time, we just don’t know what happened for sure that caused this. We were just a few seconds away from having a normal skydive when the trail plane came over the top of the lead aircraft and came down on top of it. It turned into a big flash fireball, and the wing separated,” said Mike Robinson, 64, a skydiving instructor for Skydive Superior involved in the incident. “All of us knew we had a crash. … The wing over our head was gone, so we just left. Looking around, we’re seeing the wing that came off. We’re seeing it’s on fire, and there are just parts of the airplane floating in the air with us. We were falling faster than those parts … So the concern was we get away from the crash area.” He added, “It might’ve been a lot worse. Everybody, to a person, responded just as they should, including the pilots.”
All nine skydivers and both pilots escaped the wreckage of the two Cessna 182 planes. One plane was able to limp back to Richard I. Bong Airport intact. The other plane became a flaming heap on the ground. Meanwhile, all the skydivers either were able to jump free of the wreckage or were knocked away from the plane on impact. Here’s the staggering detail: all of them were not just experienced skydivers, they were all certified skydiving instructors or coaches. So, it goes without saying, they all made safe landings.
Tags: midair plane crash, skydiving, skydivers escape midair plane crash, airplanes, aviation, FAA, federal aviation administration, mike robinson, minnesota, lake superior, skydive superior, skydiving accidents, unusual accidents, airplane accidents, richard i. bong airport