Missouri Skydiving Pilot Parachutes out of Plane Before Crash
VALMEYER, Ill. (AP) - A pilot parachuted to safety from a damaged airplane before it crashed in a southern Illinois cornfield.
The Belleville News Democrat reports that 21-year-old Shawn Kilmartin was behind the controls of the plane on Saturday when it began pitching upward after a skydiver's parachute got caught in the plane's tail.
Kilmartin told the newspaper that he radioed his boss at Fly Free Skydiving in Festus, Missouri, to tell him he was struggling to level the plane so it wouldn't stall.
When he realized he would not be able to get the Cessna back to the Festus airport, Kilmartin put on a parachute and headed for a remote location. He jumped when the plane was about 1,500 feet above the ground.
Nobody was injured. The plane was significantly damaged.