Nightly News   |  November 04, 2013

Exclusive: Skydivers’ miraculous escape as planes collide

In video licensed by NBC News, one plane appears to fly right on top of another, forcing skydivers from both planes to jump while avoiding burning debris. NBC’s Anne Thompson reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> there was a chance we would be coming on the air tonight reporting the deaths of all 11 souls on board two aircraft that collided in midair this weekend. but instead all on board survived thanks in large part to the fact that they were all sky divers and knew how the to jump and were prepared. anne thompson has our exclusive look tonight.

>> reporter: the last jump of the day for nine sky divers and two pilots nearly became the last flight of their lives. two planes out of control saturday evening. one plane breaking up in fiery debris. what looks to be certain disaster was not. watch again from a different angle and you can see what happened. in this video licensed by nbc news you see the divers in the second plane get out on the step preparing to jump. that plane appears to fly right on top of the first plane. there is a fireball and now divers from both planes, instead of flying in a planned formation find themselves in a terrifying plummet. not only are they falling from 12,000 feet at 125 miles per hour, so are the burning parts of the first plane. all the divers opened their chutes and land safely. the pilot of the first plane gets out alive, too, using his emergency parachute. then there's this.

>> come on. you've got it.

>> reporter: blake whedon lands at the airport though there is damage to the propellors and the wing. the veteran jump rs know how close they came.

>> very, very lucky. any time two planes collide in the air, it's a potential disaster for everybody involved. so we were all very, very lucky here.

>> reporter: after pursuing thrills in the air tonight for these 11 lucky people the greatest thrill is just being alive . anne thompson , nbc news, new york.