Pilot leaps to safety

MONROE COUNTY, Ill. (KSDK) A pilot who spent four years manning a plane used for skydiving made his first jump on Saturday afternoon when he had to bail as his plane spiraled out of control.

Shawn Kinmartin, 21, is a pilot for Fly Free Skydiving in Festus, Missouri. He was on his fourth skydiving run of the day at 11,500 feet when the trouble began.

“The two skydivers jumped out, they were the last two I had in my airplane,” he said. “The last skydiver, on his way out, struck the elevator of the aircraft.”

The elevator controls the plane’s climb and descent. And for the next 10 minutes, Kinmartin fought to control the plane as he headed back to the Festus airport.

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