A skydiver in Denmark is lucky to be alive after getting entangled beneath a single-engine plane at 8,200 feet – and dangled for an hour before the craft landed safely in a field padded with foam.
The skydive at an airfield near Holstebro, about 200 miles northwest of Copenhagen, took a dramatic turn for the worse when the 45-year-old skydiver’s foot somehow got caught in a cable beneath the Cessna 182 on Wednesday, police told news agency Ritzau, according to The Local Denmark.
“As soon as his instructor, who jumped before him, was able to get radio contact with the pilot and people on the ground, a rescue operation was started,” duty officer Jens Claumarch of Mid and West Jutland Police said. “At that point, the aircraft was down to a height of around [1,640 feet], but went up to around [3,200 feet] in case he came loose and need to use his parachute.”
Claumarch said the plane then circled to burn fuel as emergency responders followed in a helicopter until the skydiver signaled that he was ready to land. That white-knuckle scenario lasted for almost an hour before the pilot, Leif Johannsen, coordinated with people on the ground to spread out foam padding on landed areas so the impact would be softened as much as possible, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten reports.
“It was a nightmare scenario that I have seen others experience before,” Johannsen told TV Midtvest. “A scenario in which there is no rulebook on how the problem should be solved. It only went well because we worked together. People on the ground and me in the air with a calm skydiver waiting for us to help him.”