2013 C-182 C-185 Formation Flying Formation Flying Non-Fatal Non-Fatal Single-Engine Superior WI

C-182L/C-185 Non-Fatal Superior, WI November 2, 2013

A Cessna 182L (182), the lead airplane, and a Cessna 185F (185), the trail airplane, collided during a
formation skydiving flight. Both pilots flew the airplanes in a rectangular pattern until they reached the
jump altitude of 12,700 ft mean sea level. The 182 pilot established a jump heading and visually
confirmed that the 185 was to the left side and aft of the 182. The 182 pilot then called out “door open”
and jumpers “climbing out.” Subsequently, the four skydivers on board the 182 climbed out onto the
airplane’s right wing strut and right wheel step. Almost immediately, the 182 was struck by the 185. The
182’s windshield was shattered, and the airplane entered an uncontrollable descent. During the descent,
the right wing separated from the airplane, and the right wing fuel tank exploded. The 182 pilot exited
the airplane and parachuted safely to the ground. The 185 pilot reported that “when it was time for the
skydivers to climb out, the two planes began to drift together and in seemingly no time at all, the two
were colliding.” After the collision, the skydivers on board the 185 jumped from the airplane as it
inverted; the pilot was able to recover the airplane and land.

Video of the collision from NBC News

Read the NTSB report. Blog discussion.