A skydiving plane collided with a second skydiving plane 12,000 feet in the air Saturday night, sending everyone on board plummeting toward the ground.
None of the nine skydivers or two pilots sustained serious injuries when the two planes collided in far northwest Wisconsin near Lake Superior. Authorities still do not know what caused the accident, USA Today reports.
Mike Robinson, an instructor and safety adviser for Skydive Superior, said that he and three other skydivers were in a lead plane Saturday and all four got prepared to jump. The plane behind theirs had five skydivers on board, with three ready to jump.
"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 it," he said. "It turned into a big flash fireball and the wing separated."
"All of us knew we had a crash. ... The wing over our head was gone, so we just left," he continued.
The three skydivers aboard the second plane got knocked off on impact, and the two inside jumped. The pilot of Robinson's plane jumped, and the pilot of the second plane was able to land the aircraft safely at Richard I. Bong Airport.
Robinson, 64, who lives north of Duluth, Minn., watched as the plane collapsed into pieces. "Looking around, we're seeing the wing that came off. We're seeing it's on fire and there are just parts of the airplane floating in the air with us," he told reporters. "We were falling faster than those parts ... So the concern was we get away from the crash area."
Robinsons said that the skydivers had parachutes that enabled them to steer away from the falling debris. They opened their parachutes between 3,000 and 5,000 feet and landed safely, where they had originally intended.
The pilot of Robinson's plane sustained minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.
Robinson said that everyone in the crash was meeting with FAA investigators on Sunday.
"We do this all the time," Robinson said. "We just don't know what happened for sure that caused this."