NBC Exclusive Video: Skydivers' terrifying collision, chaotic plunge

By KBJR News 1

Credit: NBC News

NBC Exclusive Video: Skydivers' terrifying collision, chaotic plunge

November 4, 2013 Updated Nov 5, 2013 at 3:46 PM CST

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) - The exclusive video licensed by NBC News speaks for itself. Two Cesna airplanes, flown by two Skydive Superior pilots, and filled with a combined 9 skydivers, collide over Superior, causing one to break apart in a fiery wreck.

Watch video

The family-owned and operated company has only two small airplanes in their fleet; a Cesna 182 and 185-both of which were taken out of commission by Saturday's midair collision.

A small price to pay, said instructor Mike Robinson, for 11 lucky survivors.

"Very, very lucky. Anytime two planes collide in the air, I mean it's a potential disaster for everyone involved. We were all very very lucky."

According to Skydive Superior instructor Barry Sinex, who was on board the lead plane during the accident, it will cost about $150,000 to repair the damaged plane, and get their local operations back in the air.

Sinex says selling the exclusive helmet cam footage to interested media outlets is just one of the ways they're considering fundraising.

The collision survivors are appearing on NBC's 'Today Show' Tuesday to recap their harrowing tale as news of their story gains worldwide attention.

Meanwhile, the FAA is sifting through the wreckage to determine the exact cause of the accident.

So far, Skydive Superior crews on board say that wind turbulence caused the trailing plane to piggyback the lead plane, which resulted in the collision.

"There are times when you can fly close together in formation. It takes pilots that are very skilled. Generally you just try to stay a safe distance away from things-500 feet, a thousand feet or 2,000 feet above, below and to the side."

Superior Skydive crews say both of the disintegrated plane's wings were located by Monday.

Both pilots during Saturday's collision won't comment on the accident while the FAA investigation is underway.

Billy Wagness
bwagness@kbjr.com