Skydiver, Pilot Survive Collision


Photo by Tim Telford in screengrab from My Fox Tampa Bay

The pilot of a Cessna 170B and a skydiver escaped a spectacular collision with minor injuries on Saturday at South Lakeland Airport in Florida. The pilot of the 170B, Sharon Trembley, 87, a World War II veteran, was taking off on his third touch-and-go of the beautiful morning when 49-year-old skydiver John Frost landed. A remarkable set of photos taken by Tim Telford and supplied to the Fox News affiliate in Tampa appears to show Trembley pulling up hard to avoid hitting Frost. The right wing grabbed the parachute lines and flipped the 170 around to a nose-first impact. The plane was substantially damaged but both men were relatively unscathed.

Trembley was held in hospital for observation but Frost, who was flung about 20 feet in the air when the aircraft hit the parachute, was treated and released.”You always hear the negatives about somebody died or somebody this, that or the other. Both these guys walked away unscathed,” Telford told Fox News Tampa Bay. “A scratch here, a bruise there and I think both are just happy to be here today.” The NTSB and FAA are investigating.