Cessna 182 Crashed in Monroe County; Pilot Jumped and Survived
Shawn Kinmartin, 21, a pilot for Fly Free Skydiving in Festus, jumped out as the plane spiralled out of control and went down. This was his first jump in four years.
According to Kinmartin, he was flying at 11,500 feet when the trouble began in the plane. “The two skydivers jumped out, they were the last two I had in my airplane, the last skydiver, on his way out, struck the elevator of the aircraft,” he said.
Since the elevator controls the plane’s climb and descent, Kinmartin lost control of the plane. He spent next few minutes in trying to control it while heading back to the Festus airport. But as he realized that he was losing control of the plane, he decided to bail out and land in the farm fields. As a company policy he was already wearing a parachute.
Kinmartin further said “when I jumped out of the airplane, it spiralled and crashed into the field over there. The wing carried me and I landed on this soybean field over there.”
Neither the pilot nor anyone else on ground was hurt, however, the plane was badly damaged.