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Skydiver plane pilot: 21 y/o pilot jumps out of his own plane due to damage

A man with a parachute (unrelated to the pilot in this story)
A man with a parachute (unrelated to the pilot in this story)
Wikimedia Commons

A skydiver damaged a plane causing the pilot to have to jump out. According to KCCI, pilot Shawn Kinmartin was on his fourth flight on the day, 11,500 feet over eastern Missouri, when he noticed that something was seriously wrong. The skydiver that he had taken up with him had damaged part of the plane -- a part of the gear that was crucial to get the plane back down to the ground -- when jumping out.

The 21-year-old pilot spent quite a bit of time (about 10 minutes) trying to figure out if he could bring the plane down safely. When he realized that he was losing control of the Cessna 182, Kinmartin knew that he had no other choice: He had to jump out of the aircraft.

Luckily, the skydiver and pilot escaped from the plane before it crashed. Kinmartin may have learned about jumping from a plane in an emergency situation, but no one really expects to use that training. His quick-thinking undoubtedly saved his life: Once he realized that he couldn't land the plane, he used a parachute and got himself out of harm's way.

Kinmartin explained:

"When I jumped out of the aircraft it was at 2,000 feet, so I only had 1,500 feet left till the ground and when I hit the ground the plane spiraled and crashed into the field. After I jumped out of the plane, and I knew that I was going to hit ... in a field and not actually hit a building or hurt anyone else and my chute finally did deploy; at that point, I kind of hit the rush of skydiving."

The skydiver who damaged the plane and endangered the pilot likely had no idea what was going on above him whilst he was on that "high" that so many skydivers experience. Everyone is lucky to have walked away from this -- but the aircraft was completely destroyed. Planes are replaceable... people aren't.

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