Pilot parachutes from malfunctioning plane - Tucson News Now

Pilot parachutes from malfunctioning plane

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An Illinois pilot parachuted from a plane that was malfunctioning. (Source: KSDK/CNN) An Illinois pilot parachuted from a plane that was malfunctioning. (Source: KSDK/CNN)

MONROE COUNTY, IL (KSDK/CNN) - A pilot working for a skydiving company made his first parachute jump but not for fun.

Shawn Kinmartin is a pilot and was his fourth skydiving run of the day at 11,500 feet when the trouble began.

"The two skydivers jumped out, they were the last two I had in my airplane," Kinmartin said The last skydiver on his way out struck the elevator of the aircraft."

That's the part of the tail that controls the aircraft's climb and descent.

For the next 10 minutes Kinmartin fought to control the Cessna 182 as he headed back to the Festus Airport.

When he realized he would not be able to land the plane, he decided to bail and headed back to the farm fields.

He was already wearing a parachute, a company rule.

"When I jumped out of the airplane, it was at 2,000 feet so I only had 1,500 feet to the ground. And when I jumped out, the plane spiraled and crashed into the field over there. The wind carried me and I landed on this soybean field over here," he said.

He's 21-years-old, still learning the ropes. His colleagues gave him a thumbs up for keeping his cool.

"I am a flight simulation student at SIU, and we practice different emergency situations," he said.

This was Kinmartin's first skydive and he's just glad it wasn't his last.

"After I jumped out of the plane, I knew it was going to land in a field and not actually hit a building or hurt anyone else, and my chute finally did deploy that point, I finally had the rush of skydiving," he said.

But he admits the entire ordeal is still sinking in.

"Plane is completely destroyed and thinking if I was inside that plane and it crashed the way it did, I wouldn't be standing here," Kinmartin said.

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