Two Planes Collided In Mid-Air Over the Weekend and Nobody Died

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 4 2013 10:36 AM

Two Planes Collided In Mid-Air Over the Weekend and Nobody Died

Here's a rather remarkable story from this weekend: Two single-engine airplanes collided in mid-air near the Wisconsin-Minnesota border on Saturday evening, sending one of the aircraft plummeting to the ground in flames while the other was forced to make an emergency landing—and yet all nine passengers and both pilots are alive and well today.

The reason the accident didn't turn fatal? The nine passengers were only moments from executing a group skydive; the pilot of the crashed plane, meanwhile, was able to deploy an emergency chute. Here's NBC News with the details from 64-year-old Mike Robinson, one of the skydivers involved in the incident:

The incident occurred as a Cessna 185 was closely following a Cessna 182 for a maneuver called a tracking dive, Robinson said, in which a lead jumper is followed across the sky by the other jumpers. ... All four [of the jumpers aboard the lead craft] were outside the door on the step ready to leap from 12,000 feet when the trailing plane collided with their aircraft – although Robinson said it is unclear just why that happened. The wings on his aircraft separated and the fuselage caught fire, and all four jumpers immediately leaped to safety. ...
The other aircraft, a Cessna 185 with five jumpers and a pilot on board, went into a steep dive, Robinson said. Three jumpers had been on the step on the aircraft's exterior, and two were able to jump immediately, but the third was pinned to the outside, he said. Eventually that person was able to leap, and two others inside also jumped. The pilot was able to pull out of the dive after losing several thousand feet, then landed that aircraft, although it suffered damage, Robinson said..
Advertisement

The person who appears to have been injured the worst was the pilot of the plane that crashed. He reportedly suffered a few cuts and minor injuries during the ordeal but is said to be in relatively good shape given the near-miss. "The outcome for us was as good as it could be," Robinson, who has logged more than 900 jumps in his lifetime, told the network.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 19 2014 6:22 PM Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 3:07 PM Everything Is a "Women's Issue"
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.