Tags: skydivers | plane | crash | Phoenix

Skydivers Jump From Plane Before It Crashes Into Phoenix-Area House

Image: Skydivers Jump From Plane Before It Crashes Into Phoenix-Area House

Firefighters extinguish flames caused by a plane crashing into a home in Gilbert, Arizona, on Saturday, after the pilot and four skydivers were able to parachute out. (Gary Hildebrandt/Gilbert Fire Department via The AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 Sep 2016 03:16 PM

Four skydivers and a pilot narrowly averted tragedy on Saturday when they jumped from a burning plane just before it crashed into a house in Gilbert, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix.

The four skydivers were in a Cessna 182 planning to participate in a Constitution Week celebration at the nearby Gilbert Civic Center with about 50 other skydivers when the wing of the plane caught fire, The Arizona Republic reported. The pilot radioed the situation to the communication tower, but communication was then cut off and all five on board the plane jumped to safety.

The plane then crashed into a home in the 400 block of Baylor Lane at around 7:19 p.m., where two occupants were watching TV in their living room, the newspaper reported. They were not hurt and were able to escape even though their house caught fire. No other homes in the neighborhood were affected, although the neighborhood smelled of smoke and burning fuel and was full of water as firefighters attempted to put out the fire on both the plane and home. The home that the plane struck has been ruled a total loss by fire officials, according to ABC News. The homeowners declined to comment.

Jerry Kimbro heard a bang and reported seeing the plane catch fire and begin to fall apart as he was sitting outside in his swing, The Arizona Republic reported. He thought that the plane was trying to reach nearby Chandler airport. The plane’s pilot was treated for burns to his forearms but his injuries were not life-threatening.

Gilbert Fire Department spokesman Gary Hildebrandt said that the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the crash. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University College of Aviation dean Brent Bowen told the Republic that it was fortunate that the skydivers were already equipped with parachutes, because most passengers are not taught about abandoning an aircraft.

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Four skydivers and a pilot narrowly averted tragedy on Saturday when they jumped from a burning plane just before it crashed into a house in Gilbert, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix.
skydivers, plane, crash, Phoenix
314
2016-16-20
Tuesday, 20 Sep 2016 03:16 PM
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