Pilot ditches troubled plane in Missouri - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Pilot ditches troubled plane in Missouri

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FESTUS, Mo. (WHDH) - Shawn Kinmartin was on his fourth skydiving run of the day for Fly Free Skydiving, at 11,500 feet, when trouble started.

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

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

For the next ten minutes, Kinmartin fought to control the Cessna 182 as he headed back to the airport.

When he realized he wouldn't be able to land the plane, he decided to bail and headed the plane towards farm fields.

He was already wearing a parachute as a company rule.

"I jumped out of the aircraft, it was at 2,000 feet. So I only had one thousand five hundred feet left until the ground. And when I jumped out the plane spiraled and crashed into the field over there. The wind carried me and I landed in this soybean field over here," he said.

At 21, Kinmartin was still learning the ropes, and colleagues praised him for keeping his cool.

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

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