Two planes collided at 12,000 feet near the Richard I. Bong Airport in Superior, Wisconsin yesterday. The planes, which were full of skydivers, burst into flames and one plane lost its wings. It sounds like all the making of a disaster and yet what actually happened is even more shocking.
They are all fine. Yes, you read that right. All of the passengers and even the pilots were able to successfully jump from the plane and land without major injury. It is nothing short of a miracle.
Apparently all of the five divers in one plane and the four in the others were getting ready for the jump, so most were able to just go right away. One was pinned, but managed to make the jump a minute later and one pilot managed to escape using an emergency parachute while the other found a way to safely land his aircraft (after pulling it out of a dive. Wow. Just wow.
Amazingly, only one pilot was injured and even that was fairly minor as it sounds.
It kind of makes you wonder if parachutes on commercial planes are not a bad idea. I am half kidding, of course, but in all seriousness, this is a miracle. Had the passengers even been seated in the back of the plane rather than ready to jump, this story may have ended differently.
The incident occurred as a Cessna 185 was closely following a Cessna 182 for a maneuver called a tracking dive. In one, a lead jumper is followed across the sky by the other jumpers. It sounds like these were jumpers with experience and some knowledge as opposed to amateurs, which is another point in their favor.
All in all, it's nice to get some good news and while I won't be leaping out of any planes again any time soon (I did once in college), it is still a pretty amazing story.
Have you ever been sky diving? Would this make you rethink it?
Image via Oleg Klementiev/Flickr