Gary couldn't get through the following story without saying "Condom Tandem" instead of "Common Tandem."

The three skydivers who were on the step of the second plane got knocked off upon impact, Robinson said, and the two inside were able to jump. The pilot of Robinson's plane ejected himself, and the pilot of the second plane landed the aircraft safely at Richard I. Bong Airport, from where it took off. The plane was damaged.

Robinson, 64, who lives north of Duluth, Minn., watched as the plane he'd been in spiraled downward and broke into pieces.

"Looking around, we're seeing the wing that came off. We're seeing it's on fire, and there are just parts of the airplane floating in the air with us," he said. "We were falling faster than those
parts ... So the concern was we get away from the crash area."

Robinson said the skydivers had parachutes that allowed them to steer themselves away from the falling debris and toward the planned landing spot. They opened their parachutes between 3,000 and 5,000 feet and landed safely.

The pilot of the lead plane, the one that broke apart, had an emergency parachute that cannot be steered, Robinson said. He landed elsewhere and suffered minor injuries that required medical attention.

Robinson said his group was lucky.

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