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Video: Skydivers escape midair collision

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Updated: 11/06/2013 4:29 pm
( -- Nine skydivers and two pilots safely escaped a midair collision between two small planes Sunday. And Monday evening, NBC aired the exclusive footage.

Skydivers over Wisconsin prepare to jump, when the two planes make contact.

“There’s a fireball.”

Five helmet cameras were rolling when, at the time of impact, the second plane breaks up into debris. The nine skydivers, all highly experienced, jump to safety while the pilot of the destroyed second plane escapes through a hatch and deploys his emergency chute. But the danger didn’t end with the jump.

Mike Robinson, one of the skydivers who jumped from the second plane, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune the debris easily could have killed someone: “We were in a free fall. … Both wings were above us. All we could hope for, at that point, was to fall faster than those wings and somehow get away from them.”

The pilot of the first plane managed to land the craft despite damage. The footage of this collision is shocking — and it turns out, so is its price tag.

According to The Washington Post, NBC paid the skydiving team at least $100,000 for the video. The Post also notes most media outlets frown on so-called “checkbook journalism.”

As part of NBC’s deal with the skydivers, the network has exclusive TV interview rights for two weeks. The team sat down with the Today Show Tuesday morning for more extensive coverage.

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