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Pilot for skydivers takes first leap after accident

MONROE COUNTY, Ill.- Shawn Kinmartin had flown an airplane plenty of times before, but had never leapt out of one until Saturday, according to a local report.

Kinmartin, 21, was left with no choice, as the controls of his Cessna 182 were damaged when one of the skydivers he was ferrying up hit the plane on his way out, reports KSDK-TV in St. Louis.

"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."

Kinmartin fought for control of the plane for 10 minutes but ultimately had to bail at just 2,000 feet, he said.

The young pilot was required by company policy to wear a parachute, and he landed safely in a field. His plane crash landed in another field, hurting no one, reports KSDK.

"I finally had the rush of skydiving," Kinmartin said.