2 Planes Collide Mid-Air, 1 Crashes, Everybody Is OK

9 skydivers, 2 pilots in Wisconsin accident live to tell the tale

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 3, 2013 8:55 AM CST

(Newser) – It's the kind of story that could've easily had a very different ending: Two planes carrying skydivers collided yesterday in the skies over Superior, Wis., causing one plane to break up and scatter debris over the town as the skydivers jumped clear of the plane. The best part: All 11 aboard the two planes lived to tell the tale, reports the Star Tribune. "We were just kind of lucky that we were at the point where we were out of the airplane,” says Mike Robinson, a skydiver aboard the first plane. “If we’d been back in the rear of the airplane when they collided it might have been a little bit different."

The pilot of the plane that broke up was also able to jump to safety; he sustained cuts and needs "some stitches, but he’s not seriously hurt," says Robinson. The second pilot landed safely. Officials think that one plane got caught in the wash of the other, and got sucked in until they bumped. But just jumping clear of the planes wasn't the last obstacle for the skydivers, who fell to Earth right along with debris from the plane that broke up. "We open our parachutes, and now all the sudden (the debris is) falling faster than we are," says Robinson. "Fortunately, everybody kept it together so they just avoided (it)." No one on the ground was injured. FAA and NTSB investigators were set to arrive this morning, adds KDAL. A mid-air collision between two hot-air balloons earlier this year proved decidedly more deadly.

In this July 21, 2011, file photo, a Cessna 182.   (AP Photo/Montana Highway Patrol,Scott Bennett)
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