All 13 on skydiving plane leap out before crash

2015-01-07 07:28

Wellington – All 13 people aboard a New Zealand skydiving plane that suffered an apparent engine failure today managed to leap out in parachutes moments before the plane plunged into a lake.

Police spokesperson Kim Perks said there were six passengers, six crew members and a pilot aboard the plane operated by Skydive Taupo. She said all of them landed safely and that some had been checked by medical staff but she didn’t believe any suffered significant injuries.

She said each of the crew members had planned to tandem dive with one of the passengers, and they managed to do just that as they abandoned the aircraft after the apparent engine failure. She said the pilot also leaped to safety in a parachute.

Roy Clements, the chief executive of Skydive Taupo, said the plane encountered an engine problem shortly after it had taken off. He said transport authorities were on their way to the crash site to begin an investigation.

The company offers skydives from up to 15 000 feet which come with up to one minute of freefall: “You shimmy to the door until your feet are dangling over the edge. 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... out you go!!!!!” the company’s website says.

Robbie Graham, an artist who works at the Wildwood Art Gallery in the town of Waitahanui, said he was standing in front of the gallery when he saw a number of people in parachutes coming down above the lake about 1km away. He said he didn’t see the plane crash.

“I saw all these people coming down, and I thought that was a crazy place to be coming down, that they would all end up in the lake,” he said.

He said the area is popular for skydiving but most people typically leap out of planes a few kilometres to the north, near the Taupo Airport and above dry land.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.