Plane crash survivors aren’t usually able to watch the horrific moments they lived through after the fact, but four men who captured their plane crash on film have done just that, and are sharing the images with the world.
The crash occurred in Idaho, where the men–Nathan Williams, Tol Gropp, Alec Arhets, and Les Gropp (Tol’s father) had been hiking in Bear Valley. They boarded a plane piloted by Les and were on their way to grab some dinner when suddenly, the plane lost altitude and descended rapidly toward the treeline with cameras rolling. The video has already been seen millions of times as disbelieving viewers tune in to see the extreme good fortune of the passengers.
“The first time you see it it’s kind of surreal because it’s full speed, you know, it’s seven seconds, it’s not very much time,” Tol Gropp said. “Within five seconds we’re on the ground, upside down, hanging from our seat belts.”
While the men mostly just sustained minor injuries–the pilot suffered the most, with a broken jaw and ribs and a fractured cheekbone–they say they all returned to work the following Monday with a new appreciation for life.
“You see how fast something happens, something that’s life-threatening,” Williams said. “That’s kind of people’s worst fears and it kind of came true for us, in a way.”