Two groups of skydivers were able to leap to safety after their planes collided in mid-air over Wisconsin on Saturday. According to NBC News, the teams were on their last synchronized jump of the day when one plane got caught in an updraft, slamming it into the plane above and sending bodies flying through the air.
In helmet camera video, a fireball bloomed in the windows of the higher of the two planes, then the skydivers began bailing out of the aircraft as the other plane spun away in flames and out of control.
All nine skydivers and two pilots made it to the ground safely. As the parachutists drift down, they can be heard on tape begging, “Please don’t be dead, please don’t be dead” of their friends and fellow parachutists.
“It was unpleasant,” said diver Daniel Chandler to “The Today Show” on Tuesday. Chandler was caught between the two planes and was nearly thrown into one of the whirling propellors. “I had no time to react…The sound behind me, I’ll never forget. And that’s all I could do was try and stay forward and try not to move because I knew I was going to live where I was, or thought I could.”
Fellow skydiver Amy Olson said she just remembers pilot Blake Wedan screaming, “Go! Go! Go!” to the divers, ordering them off the plane.
“That’s probably the worst, was hearing him scream,” Olson said, choking up. “It’s pretty raw.”
Watch video about this story, embedded below via WTMJ, Wisconsin:
Watch the nine skydivers appear on “The Today Show,” a segment that aired on Tuesday, Nov. 5: