2019 Year In Review

Posted by on Jan 8, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

2019 Skydiving Aircraft Accidents: Year in Review

Looking back at the year 2019 in jump plane accidents for the United States, the record again showed improvement in the total number of accidents. There were only four incidents that fit the NTSB definition of “aircraft accident.” However, a low number of accidents is still not zero, and having a low number of accidents doesn’t change the heart-rending loss of 11 lives on the King Air crash in Hawaii. That hole can never be filled; it will be felt forever by those involved at the field and the friends and families of those who were lost. Two of the accidents only have Preliminary accident reports listed on the NTSB website, one has a place holder Preliminary entry, and one at Pepperell, MA, has a Factual report released.

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Posted by on Feb 25, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

I hope everyone in the southern hemisphere has been having a great skydiving season. In the northern hemisphere we’re just starting to crank back up other than for the southerly located DZs that can operate through our winter.

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Skydive Kauai Cessna 182 crash NTSB final report.

Posted by on Dec 2, 2017 in Blog | 11 comments

The NTSB has released the final report on the May 23, 2016 fatal Cessna 182 crash at Skydive Kauai. Read the NTSB report. “Probable Cause and Findings The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed following a partial loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined during postaccident examination, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall.“ The NTSB says the low time pilot was the cause by allowing the aircraft to slow, stall and spin after a partial engine failure. What is not answered is: why did the engine fail? The facts of the case include a discussion about an Autogas STC to use automobile gas instead of 100LL aviation gas. Fuel was purchased at a nearby gas station without regard for whether it was ethanol free. The state of Hawaii does not require markings at pumps warning of ethanol if it has less than 1% ethanol in the fuel. And yet, even though 12 gallons of gas was recovered from the accident aircraft and tested for the presence of water it was never tested for the presence of ethanol. There is no mention of testing for ethanol in the hand containers that transported the fuel and filled the aircraft. The report brings up the question by referencing an EASA paper on Autogas in aircraft but makes no correlation. The report discusses the atmospheric conditions for the formation of carburetor icing as being severe at idle that day but then says carburetor icing is unlikely due to the aircraft being at high power during takeoff. But what if carburetor ice formed on the previous descent? Jump planes descend at near idle power for long periods normally. No account for how much time in between loads is stated. With respect to the pilot’s experience the report states he held a US commercial license single engine land (appropriate for the operation). However, zero information is provided other than total flight hours as to the pilot’s experience. The pilot’s logbook does not show any experience in a Cessna 182 and the last entry was about two months prior to the accident. The amount of time in type is not provided at all in the report nor does it seem the operator of Skydive Kauai was asked to provide an estimate from time of employment. No account is given for what training in the operation was given. Questions remain: How did the operation train the pilot to fly for them? What topics were covered? Did the topic of engine failure on departing runway 9 (towards open ocean) get discussed?...

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Addressing Single Engine Turbine Accidents.

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Blog | 2 comments

I think there is a growing problem. Since 2008 I have been monitoring several single engine turbine accidents and incidents. Most have been Caravans, but there are a few reports of PAC-750s. The problems seem to stem from the concept that a single engine turbine is just a step up in power over a single engine piston aircraft. However, the types of accidents I am seeing leads me to believe that not enough information is being shared and training has been inadequate for the growing number of single engine turbine aircraft in the skydiving fleet.

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Aircraft Control After Engine Failure on Takeoff

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Blog | 1 comment

This is a document that just came out from the FAA January 2016. It’s only two pages long in pdf. It’s a good quick read and should be part of any initial jump pilot training to reinforce what should already be known but sadly we’ve seen the results from inaction or incorrect action. YOU WILL BE STARTLED

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Old model Cessna 182 unusable fuel.

Posted by on Oct 3, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

This NTSB final report has come out on a 182 crash at Geneseo, IL. The FAA does not understand the fuel system of the early 182 models. The old Cessna 182 (1956) A through (1960) D has an unusable fuel of 5 GALLONS PER TANK. In the report they say that 9 gallons were left which 6.5 were usable. This is not true. It would be 4 gallons and I question even that. Pitching “up and down” is maneuvering flight. Second, the right tank was dry. There may be a venting problem which caused the system to syphon the right tank dry and then a vacuum prevented fuel from flowing from the left tank. If you have to pitch up and down to get fuel that tells me you know you have wrinkled fuel tank bladders. That plane is unairworthy to begin with and unusable fuel goes up above the 5 per tank normal! While the NTSB correctly states the cause of the accident as fuel exhaustion the body of the report leaves you scratching your head as to how that can be. Fuel exhaustion is no more usable fuel. Fuel starvation is fuel is on board but for some reason is not making it to the engine to be combusted. Please Please Please stop thinking you have more usable fuel in these old models. The POH is very misleading in how it states the unusable fuel. You are ALWAYS maneuvering in the traffic pattern to land. Unusable fuel is TEN gallons total, five gallons per tank. You can reference Cessna 182 Type Data Sheet here. Join our Facebook group for easy...

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