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SUPERIOR - An instructor with Skydive Superior was one of the jumpers aboard the lead plane as two planes crashed mid-air over South Superior Saturday.
Mike Robinson tells FOX 21, he and his fellow jumpers feel very fortunate to have walked away from this horrific accident.
For this group of nine skydivers who have hundreds and even thousands of jumps under their belt, it started just as another day out in the skies.
“In this case our lead plane had four jumpers in it. I was one of those four, the trail plane had 5 jumpers in it,” Robinson said.
Flying in formation, the two planes got to their target of 12,000 feet and prepared for the jump.
“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.
Just as all nine were ready to leave the aircraft, the two planes collided.
“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.
An activity the skydivers have done so many times before, but this accident serves as a solemn reminder.
“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 said.
Robinson said the pilot was able to land the second aircraft and fortunately, nobody was seriously injured in the collision.
Witnesses have been reporting debris near the Superior Airport in multiple locations.
The FAA is still investigating the cause of the crash.