The pilot did not perform weight and balance calculations for the accident flight; though, postaccident calculations indicated that the airplane was under gross weight and the center of gravity was within limits. The pilot reported that he did not have any memory of the accident flight. The accident flight was the second flight of the day for the pilot and began immediately after landing from the previous skydive drop flight.
The 363-hour single-engine commercial rated pilot lost control of the airplane during a parachute activity flight. The airplane subsequently stalled and entered a spin to the left. A witness radioed the pilot and asked what was wrong, and the pilot replied that he was in a spin and didn’t know what to do.
While landing on runway 3, the airplane’s right wing contacted the runway and the airplane landed hard. A weather observation reported at an airport about 18 miles northeast of the accident site, included winds from 320 degrees at 13 knots. The pilot further reported that he conducted an uneventful flight an hour prior to the accident, with the same wind conditions.
Prior to the day of the accident, the pilot had not flown out of the airstrip. During takeoff, the airplane traveled over a ‘soft spot’, and began to veer to the left. The pilot was unable to correct the turn, the airplane went off the left side of the runway and struck a tree. The runway was 1,515 feet long, 110 feet wide, and consisted of soft turf. Review of the pilot’s weight and balance calculations revealed that the airplane was approximately 300 pounds over the maximum gross takeoff weight.