CBSN

Michigan Plane Crash Kills 10

It was supposed to be a weekend of fun above Marine City, Mich., but as CBS News Correspondent Drew Levinson reports, shortly after the twin engine plane took off something went terribly wrong.

Mike Miller saw it happen. "It was really banking, and my son and I could see the bottom. All of a sudden we heard a thud and my son said 'I think it crashed'. I got to the screen door and [there was an] explosion."

The plane had gone down in an open field and there was little that Miller and his neighbor Robert Franz could do. "It had broken into 2 pieces," Franz says.
The main passenger compartment was totally engulfed in flames, in black smoke.

Nine people on a weekend skydiving trip were killed in the crash along with the plane's pilot.

The aircraft took off from Marine City Airport just before 9 a.m. carrying eight men and two women, all were members of a club called the Parahawks. The group had been jumping together for more than 20 years.

Bob and Carolyn Johnson were supposed to jump with them this morning, but missed the flight.

"They were all our friends. Good people. It's an inherent risk we know and accept, and are willing to take each time," says Bob. But Carolyn is still stunned. "It's incredible, she says. "We could have been on that plane."

For friends and family members this was to have been a day of picnics and celebrations. Instead they waited for news as to what happened, and why.

Federal crash investigators from the NTSB are on the scene, but it will take some time before any answers are found.