British skydivers almost struck by fighter jets traveling at 350mph
Things could have gotten really messy.
NORTH CAMBRIDGESHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM — Two British skydivers almost went splat all over the cockpits of two U.S. fighter jets that were traveling at a mere 350 mph.
According to a report released by the UK Airprox Board, the two skydivers were jumping over Chatteris Airfield, about 90 miles north of London, on April 17.
According to the BBC, the pair were in freefall, traveling at around 120 mph straight down when they noticed two fighter jets speeding their way.
The report stated that "once the parachutists had seen the F15s there was very little they could do to avoid the situation, having no control over their speed or direction whilst in free-fall."
The two American F-15s flew directly under the skydivers traveling around 350 miles per hour.
According to NBC News, the F-15 pilots never saw the skydivers, but even if they had, there would have been almost no time to avoid the collision.
The planes were so close, Go-Pro footage from one of the skydiver's helmets clearly shows the F-15s passing right beneath them.
NBC News reports the fighter jets were based out of Royal Air Force Lakenheath, which is host to the U.S. Air Force's 48th Fighter Wing.
Thanks to some good old miscommunication, the pilots had not been warned about skydivers in the area.
According to 48th Fighter Wing Commander Col Will Marshall, UK airspace is "incredibly complex and often congested."
He also added, "we are using this incident to reinforce the vital importance of situational awareness and attention to detail for all of our air traffic controllers and aircrew."
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