11 People Survive Collision at 12,000 Feet

On planes loaded with skydivers, one pilot landed safely, and everyone else bailed out

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Steve Kuchera / The News-Tribune / AP

An FAA investigator examines the wreckage of a plane that crashed in Superior, Wis., after a midair collision with another plane, on Nov. 3, 2013. Both planes were carrying skydivers. No one was seriously injured in the incident.

Two small planes loaded with skydivers in northwest Wisconsin collided Saturday, but miraculously none of the 11 people aboard were seriously injured.

The two planes were flying in formation at an altitude of about 12,000 feet when the rear plane inexplicably came down on top of the lead plane, igniting a flash fireball and knocking off the lead plane’s wing, the Associated Press reports. In the severely damaged lead Cessna 182, four skydivers who were already poised to leap jumped out, and the pilot ejected himself before the plane went down. In the other plane, three skydivers were knocked out with the impact, and two others jumped.

The pilot then landed the damaged plane safely. All of the skydivers had hundreds if not thousands of hours of experience. The ejected pilot was the only one who couldn’t steer his parachute, and he suffered minor injuries that required medical attention. The Federal Aviation Authority was in the area investigating the incident Sunday.