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Pilot makes first skydive -- of necessity -- after another jumper damages plane

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(CNN) -- Although Shawn Kinmartin flies planes for a skydiving service, he hadn't done any skydiving himself -- that is until he had to make an emergency jump on Saturday. On his fourth flight of the day taking jumpers up, Kinmartin was cruising at 11,500 feet over eastern Missouri and southern Illinois when he realized that his final skydiving client had damaged a key piece of gear while jumping out of the plane. During the jump, the skydiver struck the elevator of the aircraft, a part of… ( Mais...

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Torsten Hoff 4
Very good question. The best possible scenario would be hitting the horizontal stabilizer with the packed chute, which would have spread she force of the impact over the part of the body best equipped to bear a load. Hitting the stabilizer with the head / helmet would be just about the worst-case scenario and easily could have been fatal.
Ray Zimmermann 1
What he says in the video that "a piece of equipment" hit the horizontal stabilizer. Any idea what that could be?
Bryce Johnson 6
Don't know if you guys got the updated version, but the auxiliary parachute of one of the jumpers inadvertently deployed which is what cause the damage on the tail. There are a lot of good pilots out there. My instructor started instructing at 18, and by 23 had 2000+ hours and hired as a Captain in a Citation XLS. At 21, this kid could have 4 years of flying experience which I believe to be sufficient for a Cessna 182. Sounds like he performed well under pressure.
J Tate 4
I rarely chime in on these boards, but I have some first hand knowledge here so I'll give it go:

In the early 80s I flew skydivers in a C182 and was required to wear a 'rig' when I was flying. After several loads of skydivers over several weekends I decided to ask the jump zone operator why the pilots were required to wear a parachute. He explained that it was not uncommon for a pilot chute to deploy inadvertently inside the airplane. The pilot chute is the small chute that deploys and inflates in order to extract the main or reserve parachute from the pack or bag. He went on to explain that if this happened with the door open there is a good chance the pilot chute would go out the door taking a skydiver or cutaway parachute with it and subsequently wrapping around the tail of the airplane and disabling or crippling the ship. Thus the requirement for the pilot to wear a rig.

After that question was answered I asked if it wouldn't be a good idea for the pilot to know how to use the rig. He concurred and put me through his first jump course free of charge. I made three static line jumps that summer and had a hoot doing it but haven't been back since.

I now have the privilege of flying a B757 for a living. It pays better but is not near as much fun as throwing a load of party animals out of that Skylane then trying to beat them back to the hangar.

There's my $0.02 FWIW.
morenji 2
I think the pilot behaved well, and kept his nerves. Also taking care of others rather than thinking only to himself, when others might have panicked and jump without aiming the plane to a scarsely populated area.
vector4traffic 1
At 1:22 of the CNN video you can see both elevators and even after the crash the leading edges don't look bad.
vector4traffic 1
I dunno, but if I survived an event like that, i'd probably take some pictures to show why I dumped the plane. I doubt the NTSB will mind if the vegetation is moved to get a better view of the elevators.
Jonathan Brandt 2
In the article they said that another pilot flew up and confirmed that there was damage to the tail of the aircraft. So you have the second pilots testimony, and possibly some photos of the damage while the plane was still air born where taken.
Stefan Sobol 1
Couple of things.

When I took jump lessons one of the things they told you was guard your reserve chute so it did not deploy in the plane inadvertently. If yours did you were to get out the plane ASAP.

Not all jump planes are missing the door. A lot of them have doors that can be opened and closed inflight.

Even if you get out, the local airflow may not cause you to drop as fast as you might think. Maybe not as likely in a small plane, but on a transport plane it can make a big difference.
Ric Wernicke -1
This does not pass the sniff test. I really doubt a jumper could come in contact with the elevator exiting the airplane. The jumper is travelling the same speed as the aircraft when he leaves it. He continues to travel at nearly the same speed while gravity is pulling him down. By the time the elevator leading edge "arrives" where the jumper left, he is well below the aircraft.

Where is Paul Harvey when you need him? I want to "know the rest of the story."
BaronG58 3
Not necessarily true. I have flown hundreds of meat drops. Yes, jumper is traveling the same speed as plane but is in sterile environment while in plane. How jumper exits plane is a factor,,,did he drop out or spring out while encountering tremendous drag.What was attitude of plane...this is a factor. This is not the first time this has happened....IE...George HW Bush when he bailed his Avenger.
I too have flown hundreds and you are exactly right Baron. I've seen people launch themselves up into the wing of a C182 and a C206 when all they had to do is let go. It's not a stretch for someone to launch themselves into the horizontal stabilizer thinking they would clear it. Funny how this pilot is being chastised for his "experience level" here, but on another site that I'm a member of (group of fellow Diver Drivers) he is being praised for keeping his cool and doing it right by his peers.
mike SUT 1
Many an aviator/jumper have smacked the tail of an aircraft in exiting. I had a friend in the Navy who ejected from an F-4, who even with an ejection seat, hit the vertical stab and lost his life. It happens.
Hugh Loraine 0
I can see the port elevator and vertical stabilizer but not the starboard side very well. If a jumper did hit the tail, he should have a broken neck or extremity injuries. At least some bruising and cussing from the DZ operator. I agree with wernicke's comment about the sniff test.

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BaronG58 6
Please explain what you see wrong with this picture.
paul trubits -6
Maybe I am getting old, but just how much experience can this pilot have? If this was a 21 year old bus driver accident, wouldn't that get attention? We lost a banner plane pilot near Ocean City, Md last year that was not much older. Experience must count for something.
Rob Claybrook 11
I was a CFI and flew skydivers before I was 21. I flew night cargo as a 21 year old. Was flying multi-million dollar turboprops with billionaire passengers shortly thereafter. I'm 33 and fly Citations single pilot now. At what age do you have 'experience?'
BaronG58 5
Taaah....Daaaah! Exactly...Time in left seat determines experience..not time on this earth.
paul trubits 1
I guess what I am getting at is that he bailed out of the plane. Was this the correct decision? I am hoping that it was(and that none of us have to make that choice). This story could have been a lot worse.
Torsten Hoff 4
He had returned to the airport following the mishap and found that he didn't have sufficient control for a safe landing, then headed back to the soybean fields. The guy had no jump experience himself and determined that was safer than trying to land the plane.

I'd say he made the right call.
BaronG58 5
Article said he was a pilot for skydiving assuming he was being compensated for his services...this would require a commercial ticket. If memory serves me, one has to have logged 250 hr PIC time to train for this ticket. Pilot could easily have twice this amount inked in his logbook. Not Chuck Yeager experience but not shabby for this class of aircraft.
mike SUT 6
I started flying 2 months before my 16th the time I was 21 I had about 1200 hours...was there something wrong with my picture. Or the picture of a lot of the regional jet co-pilots about that age that you get on these days. PS....Big 5 Sporting goods has great sales on sneakers these days. Unless of course you want to keep those "highly experienced and competent"sneakers that you refer to that you have had for at least, what, 21 years? :-)
Gordon Shenkle 2
Anybody who goes in the jump plane has to have a chute on. There's a big piece of the plane missing - the right door.
donhun1313 -3

He was not a jumper, Had never jumped, So why was he wearing a parachute?

Only Pilots I have ever seen wearing parachutes were military pilots and even then only the ones flying fighters.
Debbie Fleming 2
I believe all pilots flying jumpers wear a parachute too, just in case!
skylab72 1
you have never been skydiving either...
Hugh Loraine -5
The only way a jumper can hit the tail is if he deployed the chute while at the jump door. So what happened to the jumper. We are not being told the full story.
Jimmy Robinson 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Cessna 182 Pilot Jumps from Damaged Plane at 2,000 Feet

A 21-year-old pilot who works for a skydiving company was forced to make a skydiving jump of his own — his first ever — to bail out of his Cessna 182 after a previous jumper damaged the aircraft in flight.


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