NBC News obtained heart-stopping video from skydivers whose two planes collided in midair in northern Wisconsin Saturday, forcing them to make a frightening emergency jump during which they had to avoid crashing into the flying, flaming debris all while plunging at a speed of 125 miles per hour.
The video was captured by the skydivers themselves who were wearing cameras mounted on their helmets.
As TheBlaze reported Monday, neither the nine skydivers nor their two pilots were injured.
In video captured while still inside one of the planes, several men are seen preparing to make their jump. Just when the first men are out on a ledge preparing to jump, the second plane comes too close underneath and bumps into the first aircraft, then catches on fire.
This appears to knock at least two of the divers off the plane, forcing them to start their jump prematurely. The third quickly lets go, after which the others still inside quickly jump out themselves.
All this this took place at an altitude of 12,000 feet.
NBC reported that the pilot of the smoldering plane used his emergency parachute to jump to safety. The pilot of the other Cessna managed to land his partially damaged plane safely.
First Coast News (WTLV/WJXX) reported that the cameras were meant to capture their “perfectly timed jumps and exhilarating descent.” Instead, it captured the messy, yet miraculous moment they survived a potential disaster.
“We were just a few seconds away from having a normal skydive when the trail plane came over the top of the lead aircraft and came down on top of us,” Mike Robinson, an instructor for whom Saturday’s saga was his 937th skydive, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “There was this terribly loud bang. And a flash of fire. The wing and the strut supporting it broke off into a fireball, leaving us nothing to hang on to.”
“Even if anybody yelled anything, it was too loud to hear anything. We followed our instincts. We just jumped. And we watched everything falling around us,” Robinson said.
He said that as they were free falling, all they could hope for “was to fall faster than those wings and somehow get away from them.”
Despite the traumatic experience, Robinson said he has “no hesitation to get back up there.”
Watch the video here as broadcast by NBC Nightly News: