GOOD NEWS 13 People Parachute to Safety Ahead of New Zealand Plane Crash
A group preparing for a skydiving lesson in New Zealand had to jump earlier than expected when a plane’s engine began to fail.
Six students, six instructors and the pilot leapt moments before the plane plunged into Lake Taupo.
Skydive Taupo’s CEO said that the plane encountered an engine problem after take-off. Authorities are investigating.
The company is offering students another jump for free.
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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 0.6 miles 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 miles to the north, near the Taupo Airport and above dry land.
He said the parachutists were about 656 feet above the water when he saw them, and the only thing that made sense to him was that perhaps they were engaged in some kind of training exercise.