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Eleven Skydivers Die in Polish Plane Crash, Pilot Survives

Eleven Skydivers Die in Polish Plane Crash, Pilot Survives

On July 5, 2014 at around 1600 hours, a private skydiving school was planning a tandem jump from a height of 4000 meters with beginner jumpers harnessed to experienced instructors (opening the parachute at 1700 feet) but instead the exercise met tragedy.

The twin engine Piper PA-31P pressurized Navajo skydiving plane crashed, and was damaged beyond repair in an accident near Czestochowa, Poland. The plane was new to the skydiving school, purchased in May. Witnesses who lived in the village where it crashed said that the plane was flying very low, then listed to one side before it crashed.

Twelve people were aboard the plane. Only the forty year old pilot survived but is in serious condition in a hospital in Czestochowa. The survivor is conscious and breathing without assistance, but has multiple injuries. Firefighters, three emergency helicopters and three ground ambulances responded to the scene and a team of seven investigators from the public prosecutors office secured the area and established a base of operations at the Cz?stochowa-Rudniki Airport (Aero Club of Czestochowa) from which the plane took off and where the crew was planning to land. The cargo plane does not have passenger seating but is built to fly skydivers, and is run by a parachute school.

n11wbpiper Experts say it is unexpected for a twin engine plane to have a crash like this, as it can fly on one engine.

The ten seat twin engine Piper was full—perhaps too full—of skydivers when it crashed into a stand of trees in an uninhabited area just outside of the village of Poplar in Silesia. Some of them tried to parachute out but apparently all were burned. Those aboard included the pilot, one of the owners of the company, three instructors, three customers, and four students. The plane caught fire after impact in Topolów near Czestochowa, Poland.

Firefighters arrived at the scene at 16:20, and pulled three people from the plane before it caught fire. The remainder of the bodies were retrieved after the fire, charred beyond recognition.

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