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Skydiver breaks plane: 2,000 foot jump, pilot must jump from plane after damage

A skydiver breaks a plane by accidentally knocking off a key piece of the aircraft, forcing a 21-year-old pilot to make a 2,000 foot jump as well this week. The pilot put into such a precarious position, Shawn Kinmartin, said that he had never actually skydived himself, but had to make an emergency leap way up in the air after realizing that his plane had sustained damage to the tail and could no longer fly. Fox 5 News reports the death-defying details behind the strange aerial accident this Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

Skydiver breaks a plane, pilot must jump for life too
Creative Commons, Flickr Images

Instead of a usual morning seeing passengers take a leap through the clouds, Mr. Shawn Kinmartin had to make a live-saving skydiving jump himself this Saturday — from 2,000 feet up in the air. When a skydiver breaks a plane, what’s a pilot to do, after all? Kinmartin said in a statement this weekend that he’s experienced flying the sky diving service plane, but had never actually jumped before. So after the plane sustained major damage after a skydiver’s fateful jump broke an integral part of his Cessna aircraft (the tail), instinct kicked in.

A few minutes before performing the daring leap, Kinmartin said that he tried his best to steady the damaged plane, cruising lower and lower, but still thousands of feet up in the air over Illinois land. A fellow pilot in another aircraft was able to determine that Kinmartin’s aircract had a severely damaged tail, and that it would be nearly impossible to land it safely.

"We realized that I wouldn't be able to perform the landing," Kinmartin said in an interview this Monday morning.

Click2Houston adds this afternoon that the quick-thinking 21-year-old instead maneuvered the plane broken by an unknowing skydiver into a seemingly unpopular area of farmland. As the aircraft fell, Kinmartin jumped at roughly 2,000 feet up in the air for his life, pulling a parachute pack he kept with him at all times in case of emergencies.

Incredibly (and fortunately enough), Kinmartin did everything right, and the young man floated slowly and safely down into an open field. The pilot did not sustain any injuries from the accident. Local authorities have confirmed that any other skydivers were also unhurt, and no one was wounded at the site of the eventual plane crash, either. Now, believe it or not, but the pilot says that he enjoyed skydiving so much that he wants to start taking that high-flying jump regularly now.

"I was nervous, a little scared but at the same time excited," he added in a statement.