The recently employed pilot-in-command (PIC) had been given a 1-hour orientation flight by another pilot the morning of the accident. The airplane used was equipped with only one seat, and the PIC flew the airplane while the pilot who gave the orientation sat on the floor.
The airplane was loaded with 10 sport parachutists and one pilot. Later, investigators calculated that the maximum gross weight was exceeded by 149.6 pounds, and the center of gravity was 2.87 inches aft of the aft limit. The cabin door had been removed for parachuting operations; however, an altered Flight Manual Supplement had been used as authority for the door removal.
The pilot reported that climbing through 550 feet agl, the engine lost power. He lowered the nose of the airplane, established a glide, checked the engine controls and fuel selector, and pulled the carburetor heat control to no avail. At one point, ‘the engine started but would run at a fast idle, and for only a few seconds.’ he conducted a forced landing in a soybean field. Examination of the wreckage revealed no anomalies. During a test in a production test cell, the engine operated normally and produced maximum rated power.
Directional control of the aircraft was lost during the takeoff roll. The aircraft skidded sideways, veered off the runway into an agricultural field and both main landing gear assemblies collapsed.
During an attempted freestyle jump from 10,500 feet msl, the parachutist gripped a bar in the airplane, then swung his legs outside and let go. During this attempted exit, the parachutist hit his head on the doorway floor.
The pilot reported that after the airplane reached an altitude of 10,500 feet msl, the skydivers exited the airplane. The pilot stated that he then began a wings-level, high-rate descent to stay clear of the drop zone. The mixture was at full rich and the carburetor heat was applied as he maintained 150 to 160 knots indicated airspeed.
The pilot lost control of the tailwheel equipped airplane while attempting to land on runway 18 with a crosswind from 290 at 19 knots, gusting to 37. The airplane ground looped and the left wing spar was damaged when the wing impacted the ground.
Two airplanes were converging head-on while taxiing on the same east-west taxiway. The pilot of the cessna 182 was taxiing east and saw the tailwheel equipped great lakes 2t-1ak (biplane) ‘s-turning’ on the taxiway. She assumed the biplane pilot saw her aircraft.
The pilot departed on a local flight with three passengers. The engine start, taxi, and initial takeoff were normal. As the airplane flew over the end of the runway at 50 to 75 feet, the engine lost power.
The airplane was descending for a landing when the engine suffered a total loss of power. The pilot stated that he had no memory of the accident. Although personnel who moved the airplane claimed that 15 or 16 gallons of fuel were removed from the accident airplane at the accident scene, only about six gallons could be located.