UNDATED (CBS) -- Some remarkable video surfaced on YouTube this week. It shows a small plane crashing in the Idaho mountains. What makes this video extraordinary is that it was shot from the cockpit, showing us what the pilot and passengers saw.
Of all the videos posted on line, when one pops up claiming to show a plane crash from inside the cockpit it comes with a healthy dose of skepticism. But this was all very real.
Looking at what's left of the vintage 1947 Stinson, it's a wonder anyone survived. But all four on board did and so did their footage. Tol Gropp says, "Maybe we shouldn't have taken off that day, but at the time, everything was good."
Tol Gropp is the pilot's son. They and two friends took off from a tiny airport near Stanley Idaho back in June with clear skies and beautiful mountain terrain.
They had brought along cameras to capture the moment. Everyone was smiling during takeoff, even though the plane seemed to be struggling for lift in the hot air.
Just four minutes into the flight, Tol noticed they weren't getting any higher than about 70 feet above the treetops. He says, "I still felt even as I saw us coming closer to the trees that my dad would pull us out of it, and that we'd be ok."
His dad was an experienced pilot. He had flown in Vietnam; why be worried? But then the plane started to lose altitude. Alex Arhets was sitting in the back seat looking out the side window. He says, "Come on, hit the power lets go, let's go, and it just never happened."
He braced for the worst. He says, "As the plane started hitting the trees, I just told myself to just go limp and relax, and so I did. I had expected to see the life flashing before my eyes, but instead I kinda had an instant calm feeling that things were going to be ok."
Gropp says, "I remember hitting the trees, and it sounded like rapid fire, gunfire it sounded like - but then we were all upside down."
It was deathly quiet. The cameras kept rolling; Leslie Gropp, the pilot, was the first to speak. He said, "Is everyone ok?"
Much to their surprise, no one was seriously injured except him. Gropp says, "Once my dad, unbuckled I could see he was bleeding pretty badly..."
They pulled him to the safety of a nearby log. He had broken his jaw in three places, as well as his cheekbone. He's recovering nowand none blame him for the crash. In fact they say the way he kept control of the plane might have saved their lives.
Ahrets says, "You just feel blessed, you feel like there's ya know, God's hand at play." At first they weren't going to post any of these images. It was too personal, they said.
But they decided it was such a vivid reminder of how life can change in an instant, they had to share it, and did.