“Would Have Died There” – Skydivers Turn Heroes After Deadly Crash Prompts Military Veterans to Save 72-Year-Old Pilot

Published 01/24/2024, 10:47 AM EST

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Averting tragedy with heroism, a skydiving group recently made headlines by saving an elderly pilot’s life. In a wondrous and serendipitous turn of events, the Mesquite Municipal Airport recorded three divers emerging as the guardian angels of this unfortunate 72-year-old. Remarkably, after a horrific aircraft crash marked its course on January 12, these brave-hearted adventurers were spotted, lending their spontaneous support. 

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Recovering the fallen man to safety, the skydiving enthusiasts noted a small plane crashing at the airport around 3:15 in the afternoon. While this daring crew included retired military veterans, they remembered seeing the aircraft somersaulting mid-sky and coming to an upside-down rest within moments. With the victim being identified as Mike Gunderson, they further aided his admission under medical care. 

Skydiving professionals succeed in spontaneous revival

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According to reports, the skydiving crew was present at the Mesquite venue when they were caught off-guard by this sudden turmoil. Leaving one occupant with severe injuries, the collision saw him being airlifted to the nearby UMC Hospital in Las Vegas. With the help of Mercy Air, the scene witnessed its first responders rushing for the elderly man’s immediate safety. 

As the skydiving onlookers recalled the moments, they claimed seeing Air Force veteran Gunderson’s plane staying trouble-free all day. However, during the 3 p.m. landing attempt, it all went south as the tail-end of the plane unexpectedly lifted, arcing towards the front. While ultimately flipping the aircraft upside down, the canopy was reported to be pinned to the runway in the crash’s aftermath. 

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With candid takes on this unforeseen incident, the skydiving enthusiasts shared glimpses of their heroic save as they removed Gunderson from the spot. As the Emergency Medical Services arrived, veteran diver Tyler Martin noted,If we wouldn’t have done anything he would have died there”. Subsequently, the Mercy Air members were seen transporting the senior to the UMC Trauma center. 

Fatal crash unveils a beacon of hope for the victim

In a matter of moments, the skydiving trip remembered covering a distance of over 200 yards to reach the wreckage. With retired military veterans Joshua Kaschmitter and Tyler Martin marking this audacious rescue mission, the venue saw them joining forces with Harris Kashton. An active military trauma surgeon, his collaborative efforts with the other two skydiving instructors resulted in immediate action. 

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Turning a routine skydiving venture into a display of sheer heroism, all members of this daring trio exhibited skillful, well-trained approaches. With Harris Kashton utilizing his trauma expertise, he initially could not find vitals in Gunderson. Prompting him to trigger subsequent life-saving measures, he started chest compressions in mere seconds. 

Focusing on the urgency of the situation, the skydiving enthusiasts led a collective effort, with witnesses helping lift the plane. Allowing Kashton to enter and stabilize the pilot, these critical minutes underscored the profound impacts of their quick response. With Gunderson remaining unresponsive but breathing on his own, the community hoped for an eventual positive outcome.

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As the FAA and NTSB sparked investigations into the crash, they did not disclose any further details behind its occurrence. With the amalgamation of military training and skydiving pursuits bringing forth an ensemble of heroes, the incident also became a stark reminder of life’s fragility. However, one thing was for sure, the right people were in the right place, and truly at the right time!

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Written by:

Sanchari Bhaduri

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Hello there readers! I am a spirited writer who brings you captivating stories at Viral Sports Moments! With a bachelor's degree in English, I kicked off my content creation journey back in 2015, diving headfirst into the thrilling world of freelancing. I have worn many hats along the way, including Content Manager at Reddit, where I honed my skills in the digital realm, accumulating a treasure trove of experience and a formidable skill set. Here at VSM, I revel in the wide range of sports we cover.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar

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