Terrifying video out of Mossel Bay, South Africa, shows a plane narrowly miss skydivers after the pilot lost control and began to spiral downward.
“It is a fascinating and unusual thing to see your jump aircraft below you in freefall,” wrote Bernard Janse van Rensburg, who released the jump video on ViralHog earlier this week “for general information and educational purposes to the aviation community.”
The footage from last month shows Janse van Rensburg jump from the plane before eight other skydivers. He wrote that he had felt the Beechcraft King Air “‘slip’ once and then twice.”
“I knew something was wrong and decided to let go of the now banking aircraft,” Janse van Rensburg wrote. But his fellow divers were “fully focused on achieving correct positioning and exit timing” and the skydivers ended up “missing the tell-tale signs of an imminent stall.”
The video shows the plane spin out of control and then descend dangerously close to the divers.
“The moment was surreal and I could not believe what I was seeing. Everything happened in slow-motion and I remember thinking ‘am I really seeing the plane spinning nose down next to us?’ After the spin, the aircraft started to veer underneath us but luckily did not make contact,” Janse van Rensburg wrote.
Five divers were still inside the plane while it spiraled. The pilot gained control and was able to safely land the plane, Janse van Rensburg said.
The divers also all made it safely to the ground.
Janse van Rensburg said the incident was reported to South African aerial safety agencies.
“The next day the jump team made adjustments to their exit procedure following discussion with the pilot and no further incidents or near-incidents were experienced,” he wrote.