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Plane, skydiver collide in mid-air [photos]

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan  March 10, 2014 02:18 AM

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Planes.jpg[Photos by Tim Telford via The Orlando Sentinel]

A single-engine plane was making a landing at an airport outside Lakleland, Fla., over the weekend when its wing cut the strings of a skydiver about to complete his jump.

Neither the skydiver nor the plane's pilot was seriously hurt. These photos were taken by Tim Telford, who was photographing John Frost's dive for Skydive Tampa.

Here is the collision as it happened through Telford's lens.

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"As soon as I heard the flump of the airplane catching the canopy, it just went all blank right there. I just stared through the lens like, 'Is this really happening?' I just couldn't believe it," Telford told WESH-TV.

Pilot Shannon L. Trembley, 87, was practicing touch-and-go landings in his single-engine Cessna in Mulberry, Fla., about 11 a.m. on Saturday. Frost, 49, a skydiver from Gainesville, was landing in the same area, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The wings of Trembley's plane cut the lines of Frost's parachute, launching Frost and sending Trembley's plane nose first into the ground.

Frost, speaking to NBC, blamed the pilot of the plane for the accident. "I thought I wasn't going to make it," Frost said. "Our pilot had contacted him directly to make sure he knew we were jumping in the area."

The pilot's wife, however, says the jumpers were in the wrong place.

The mishap happened on Saturday, which ironically was National Parachuting Safety Day.

Both Trembley and Frost have been released from the hospital after being treated for minor injuries.

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