Skydiver John Frost and the Cessna piloted by Shannon
Trembley about to hit the ground after colliding.
REUTERS/Tim Telford/Polk County Sheriff's Office
The wing of a small plane flying a few feet off the
ground clipped the strings of a parachute in Florida at the
weekend, flinging the skydiver into the air and slamming the
plane nose-first into grass.
Both pilot and skydiver survived.
In fact, neither the pilot nor the skydiver suffered serious
injuries, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.
The pilot, 87-year-old Shannon Trembley, had been practising
landings and take-offs with his private Cessna at South
Lakeland Airport near Tampa.
During one of Trembley's approaches, the passenger-side wing
got caught in the strings of John Frost's parachute as Frost
came in for a landing.
Frost, 49, was treated at a hospital and released. He
couldn't be reached for comment.
Trembley, who lives near the airport, was being kept at
Lakeland Regional Medical Center for observation, the
sheriff's office said.
A hospital spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times that
Trembley did not want any information about his condition
His plane's front propeller broke off and the tail of the
plane also suffered damage, according to pictures.
Tim Telford, a photographer who captures skydivers landing,
said Frost was among nearly a dozen jumpers coming off the
Skydive Tampa Bay plane at the time.
"I could hear the plane coming, and I thought I would just
get a close shot of the plane and skydiver being
scary-close," Telford told The Times. "I turned and just
stood on the trigger."
The result was a series of dramatic photos.
Telford said the pilot in the skydiving plane had gone on the
local radio frequency shared by pilots and the airport to
call in the usual warning - that jumpers were in the air, so
pilots in the area should exercise caution for the next
"This is nothing I'd ever expect to see," Telford said.
"Thank God everybody came out OK on this one."
The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are
investigating the crash.