Two skydiving planes crashed on this weekend in Wisconsin. A mid-air collision over northern Wisconsin sent one small plane plummeting to the ground while the other safely made it back to the runway. Between the two planes, there were 11 passengers. All 11 miraculously survived.
Fortunately, both planes were carrying experienced skydivers and instructors. According to firefighters, only 2 of the jumpers experienced minor injuries.
Mike Robinson, one of the skydivers, told FOX 21, the accident occurred just as the skydivers were preparing to leave the planes.
"The four jumpers on the lead plane, actually get out of the plane, they are out on the step, then they leave. Meanwhile, the jumpers on the trail plane have done the same. They are on the step. So when they see these jumpers leave, they leave," Robinson said.
What happened next, authorities are still trying to clarify.
"We're not sure, why they collided yet, but they did. The lead plane was destroyed, the wings came off, they were on fire. 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 plane safely and landed safely," Robinson said.
Superior Fire Department Battalion Chief Vern Johnson told CNN that the pilot of the lead plane told firefighters that before the jump, he heard a loud bang and his windshield shattered. The plane caught fire and broke up in midair, but the skydivers and the pilot all parachuted to safety.
The pilot of the plane that crashed "was visibly bloodied about his face and shirt and had one hand wrapped in a garment, but was otherwise lucid, alert and oriented," Johnson said. The pilot of the trailing plane landed safely and picked up the pilot of the crashed aircraft along the runway as he taxied in, Johnson said.
Skydiving is usually not dangerous, but of course, anytime you're jumping out of a moving plane there are risks. This is one of those situations where everyone is very fortunate to have made it out alive.
"It's definitely a reminder of the sport that we all love. It can be a dangerous sport, it usually is not. We go through extensive training to learn how to be safe. Unfortunately an airplane crashed, you know you take what you get in the circumstances, we were just lucky this time," Robinson told CNN affiliate KQDS.