LODI (CBS13) — A man shot video of Thursday’s Lodi skydiving plane crash from inside the cockpit.
It’s been more than a day since the plane he was in crash-landed in a Lodi vineyard, but Sebastian Alvarez, from Chile, can’t believe he’s still physically here.
“I guess my first impression after we realized, I realized everyone was out, it was like, OK, how this happened. Nothing really bad happened to us. Nothing bad happened and we are OK? It was like wow!” he said.
RAW VIDEO: Cockpit View Of Lodi Skydiving Plane Crash
WARNING: Strong language is used in this video, as you might expect in a plane crash.
He was sure the plane would explode, but went back anyway, searching for anyone else who needed help. Looking around in amazement, he realized he and 16 other skydivers, and a pilot got out of this small Cessna without so much as a scratch.
The pilot of the plane told CBS13 he has 45 years of experience flying. He says his plane was just up for a couple of minutes about 1,000 feet up, when it experienced engine trouble, clipped a truck, flipped over and nose-dived into the vineyard.
Alvarez has experience as well. An Air Force pilot in Chile, a professional skydiver and adrenaline junkie, he’s aware the company Parachute Center that owns and operates the plane has been involved in a series of incidents.
Within the past six years, the Federal Aviation Administration sought nearly $1 million in fines. According to documents, investigators say the center operated a plane in 2011 for two weeks without performing required inspections on the wing’s framework.
In 2010, the FAA accused the center of operating more than 2,000 flights on a plane that wasn’t properly inspected and included parts past their lifespan.
But Alvarez says worrying is not a way to live.
“Actually, I love life, and I’m so happy to be alive and this is what makes me be happy,” he said.
If he loved life before, this is a new beginning.
He’s already planning to jump from a different plane this weekend. Some of the skydivers from Thursday’s crash actually went up again .
The National Traffic Safety Board and the FAA are still investigating what caused the plane to crash.