On September 20, 2019, about 1230 central daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N895SF, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at Pepperell Airport (26MA), Pepperell, Massachusetts. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the skydiving flight that departed at 1215. The airplane was privately owned and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
Loss of Aircraft Control
On June 29, 2019, about 0910 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N80JF, was substantially damaged while landing at Blackwater Creek Ultralight Flightpark (9FD2), Plant City, Florida. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to ISR Aviation LLC and operated as Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 skydiving flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The local flight originated about 0900.
On June 21, 2019, at 1822 Hawaii-Aleutian standard time, a Beech 65-A90, N256TA, collided with terrain after takeoff from Dillingham Airfield (HDH), Mokuleia, Hawaii. The commercial pilot and ten passengers sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was owned by N80896 LLC, and was being operated by Oahu Parachute Center (OPC) under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local sky-diving flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
The pilot was conducting parachute jump operations near the airport. After climbing to altitude, he released his jumpers and returned to land. The pilot reported that, during the landing flare, the airplane struck the runway nosewheel first. He added that the airplane bounced, floated down the runway, and then settled to the right of the runway.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the engine mount and right elevator.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
After multiple requests, the pilot did not submit the National Transportation Safety Board Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report Form 6120.1.
According to the pilot, he landed the airplane on the 1,800-ft-long asphalt runway in the rain at 70 mph with full flaps. He reported that, on final, he had considered conducting a go-around due to wind and weather, but “we were low, slow, and 130 pounds below maximum gross weight with very dynamic wind conditions at the time and …apartment buildings about 400 yards beyond the end of runway 19.” During the landing, he touched down with a right crosswind, about 600 ft beyond the runway threshold.
The pilot of the twin-engine, turbine powered airplane reported that while providing flights for skydivers throughout the day, he had a potential new hire pilot flying with him in the right seat. He added that on the eighth flight of the day, the new pilot was flying during the approach and “approximately 200′ [ft.] south from the threshold of [runway] 15 at approximately 15 feet AGL [above ground level] the bottom violently and unexpectedly dropped out.
The pilot reported that, during the takeoff roll, the airplane encountered a gust of wind and veered left off the runway centerline. He added, that the airplane became airborne, but that he did not have “enough time” to avoid a parked helicopter. Subsequently, the left wing impacted the helicopter. He then reduced the engine power and the airplane landed without further incident.
The pilot in the tricycle-gear-equipped airplane reported that he landed about 4 ft short of the asphalt runway. The nose landing gear struck the 6-inch-high asphalt perimeter and separated from the airplane. The pilot aborted the landing, the airplane bounced, and the pilot established a climb. He completed one traffic pattern and an approach. During the second landing, the pilot chose to land on the turf safety area parallel to the runway. When the airplane’s main landing gear touched down on the turf surface, the airplane nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall, fuselage, left wing, and empennage.
The commercial pilot was conducting a skydiving flight with a night aerial pyrotechnic display. According to the pilot and the lead jumper, who was also one of the airplane’s co-owners, a pyrotechnic box was installed on a step on the airplane’s left main landing gear assembly spring leg just before the flight. The pilot and the lead jumper reported that, after departure and as the airplane arrived at the planned jump area and altitude, the skydivers were given the go-ahead to jump, and one of the jumper’s activated the sparklers in the pyrotechnic box. Shortly thereafter, they heard an explosion and then saw damage to the bottom of the left wing with fuel pouring out of it. The left wing became engulfed in flames, and the skydivers successfully jumped out of the airplane.
On July 23, 2016, about 1900 Pacific daylight time, a Beech 65- A90, N256TA, sustained substantial damage following a reported loss of control while climbing out near the Byron Airport (C83) Byron, California. The airplane was registered to N80896 LLC, and operated by Bay Area Skydiving under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot and the 14 passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the skydiving flight. The local flight departed C83 at about 1845.
The pilot reported that he was landing in gusty crosswind conditions following a parachute jump flight, and that the gusty conditions had persisted for the previous 10 skydiving flights that day. The pilot further reported that during the landing roll, when the nose wheel touched down, the airplane became “unstable” and veered to the left. He reported that he applied right rudder and added power to abort the landing, but the airplane departed the runway to the left and the left wing impacted a tree. The airplane spun 180 degrees to the left and came to rest after the impact with the tree.
According to the pilot of the tricycle landing gear equipped airplane, he was performing skydiving operations. He reported that he felt rushed in performing his assigned duties because, “the skydiving school kept wanting me to return quicker for the next load.”
On September 27, 2015, about 1830 central daylight time, a Cessna 182A airplane, N3921D, was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with trees and terrain near Lexington, Texas. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Austin Skydiving Center, Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a skydiving flight operation.
The pilot stated that he was conducting a skydiver “jump run”, and prior to letting the skydivers out the radio squelch interrupter failed causing a constant static noise. After letting the skydivers out over the airport the pilot set up the descent based on the winds acquired for the previous landing on runway 22. As he circled for landing the manifold pressure indication “dropped off” to zero.
On July 14, 2015 about 1456 central standard time, a Cessna 1959 year model 182B skydive equipped airplane, N2764G, registered to Cook Aviation of St. Louis, Missouri, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain after the pilot bailed out (via donned parachute) due to flight control problems.
According to the pilot, he was attempting a soft field landing on runway 27. Following a stable approach and landing, a gust of wind was encountered. The airplane veered to the right and the pilot was unable to stop the airplane before the right wing struck a wind sock pole. An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration examined the airplane and confirmed substantial damage to the right wing. The pilot reported no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
According to the pilot’s report, he leveled the airplane about 11,000 feet and established a speed of 80 mph with 10 degrees of flaps extended. When the last skydiver exited the airplane, its nose pitched up. The pilot pushed forwarded on the control wheel and added full engine power.
The pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to make numerous takeoffs and transport skydivers to an adequate jumping altitude. The first takeoff was uneventful, and after the skydivers egressed the airplane, the pilot returned back to the airport. During the landing, the airplane bounced three times down the runway.
The commercial pilot said he applied full power to go around after a bounced landing. Torque generated by the turboprop engine pulled the
airplane to the right, and the pilot stated that he was unable to arrest the turn.
According to the pilot, during the landing on a grassy area that was parallel to the paved runway, the airplane touched down and impacted a ditch near an intersecting taxiway. The airplane became airborne, touched down on the other side of the intersecting taxiway, bounced again, and then landed hard on the nose gear, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and subsequent collapse of the nose landing gear.