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LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: Plane, skydiver collide mid-air in Fla.

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(CNN) -- A Cessna collided with a parachute at a small airport in Polk County, Florida, on Saturday.

The plane took a nose-dive and the skydiver was thrown to the ground.

Neither the pilot nor the skydiver were seriously injured when they fell about 75 feet, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Sharon Trembley, 87, was doing what are called "touch and goes" with the Cessna, a maneuver in which the plane touches the ground and ascends again. The Polk County Sheriff's Department initially identified the pilot as Shannon Trembley.

On his third time up, one wing became tangled in the strings of the parachute that held 49-year-old John Frost, officials said.

Both men were taken to a hospital. Frost was treated and released and Trembley was being held for observation on Saturday night.

Officials said the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were notified and responded to the scene.


  • blair

    That ain’t 75 feet from the ground. The plane may have gone 75 feet along the ground after hitting the chute. The parachutist looks like he might have been flipped up and dropped 20 feet. The plane basically cartwheeled on its nose.

  • Psyllicon

    Doing “touch-and-go’s” and on approach — that pilot was beyond ignorant to attempt touchdown within that thin a margin of error..

    One gust of wind can make a critical deviation in approach, and you have to know that before you take control of the wing. What’s worse is that the deviation caused by a gust of wind is exponentially different between the plane and the parachute.

    • Mike

      Not sure how the pilot could have been completely at fault here. It’s an active runway configuration, he had every right to attempt a tough-and-go, and obviously didn’t see the parachutist. I think communication (or lack thereof) is the issue with this incident.

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