The flight was at 13,500 feet overhead the airport, preparing for the skydivers to jump. The pilot turned on the green light to initiate the jump. He then felt the aircraft shudder, but did not lose control of the airplane. After most of the jumpers had left the airplane, one of the skydivers came forward and notified the pilot of damage to the tail.
The pilot of a Piper L-4 airplane reported that shortly after he started the taxi roll from the parking area, he initiated a shallow turn toward the taxiway. As he reached the taxiway he steered to follow the centerline, however, the airplane continued to turn to the right. He reported, in part, that the left brake inputs were not responsive and the airplane continued to the right and collided with a standing occupied Cessna.
The private pilot stated that he was at an altitude of 3,500 feet when the engine stopped producing power. He made a forced landing to field and struck a cedar post with the airplane’s nose wheel and subsequently flipped over resulting in structural damage to the vertical stabilizer
The airplane was fueled before the pilot’s first flight that day. A total of 6.0 gallons of fuel were added to each fuel tank. After fueling, the pilot dipped each fuel tank using the provided dipstick, and determined that each tank contained between 7.0 and 7.5 gallons of usable fuel. He then flew one load of skydivers, returned, and attempted to secure the engine for fueling but was pressured by company personnel that he had enough fuel to make the second flight and that he needed to keep the airplane operating.
The helicopter impacted unmarked power transmission lines as the pilot maneuvered at a low altitude over a river. The helicopter impacted the river and separated into several pieces. The pilot and his passengers were not injured and were rescued by nearby boaters.
The pilot flew nine skydiving flights on the day of the accident in the Cessna 182A. Each flight was approximately 30 minutes in duration. The airplane was refueled after approximately every other flight with about 12 gallons of fuel. Prior to takeoff for the tenth and final flight of the day, the pilot thought he had about 16 gallons of fuel in the airplane; however, he did not visually confirm how much fuel was in the tanks and could not remember what the fuel gauges indicated.
The pilot reported that there were no observed anomalies with the left wing prior to the flight. During the flight, which was conducted as a local parachute operation, the pilot performed a descending turn. The left wing’s aileron bound when the pilot attempted to level the bank. The pilot declared an emergency.
The commercial pilot reported that he was en route to a parachutist jump zone on the first of two planned jumps. Prior to the first jump, before he had slowed the airplane, or illuminated the green jump light, indicating that the parachutists had permission to jump, two of the parachutists prematurely jumped.
The pilot landed on runway 33, which is a dirt runway. The wind direction at the time was 320 degrees at 19 knots, gusting to 29. The pilot turned the airplane around to back taxi to parking. While back taxiing, the airplane’s nose wheel encountered a soft spot of sand, and the pilot added some power to get through the soft spot. The tail came up, and the airplane nosed over.
The pilot reported that the airplane, which was used for sky diving operations, was climbing through 7,000 feet mean sea level (msl) when he heard an explosion followed by a metal grinding noise coming from the engine section of the airplane. He felt the airplane vibrate, and smoke began to fill the cabin. He reported that the engine was not producing any power so he shut the fuel off and performed procedures to rid the cabin of smoke.
The pilot was landing the twin-engine, turboprop airplane on a 3,000-foot-long, 70-foot-wide, asphalt runway, when he encountered a high sink rate. He applied engine power; however, the engines did not respond quickly enough to prevent a hard landing. During the hard landing, the main landing gear separated and the left landing gear struck the vertical stabilizer. The pilot subsequently performed a go-around and landed on a grass runway, without further incident. The pilot stated that he did not experience any mechanical malfunctions. He reported 5000 hours of total flight experience, which included 500 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane.
Surviving skydivers said that as the airplane was climbing to the jump altitude of 10,500 feet agl, the stall warning horn sounded intermittently several times. They paid no particular attention to it because they had heard it on previous flights. When the airplane reached the jump altitude, the pilot signaled for one of the parachutists to open the door. When she did, she told the pilot that the airplane had overshot the drop zone by approximately 1 mile.
The pilot was returning to the departure airport following the release of skydivers. The airplane was on a straight in approach to the runway during windy conditions when the engine lost power. The pilot applied full throttle but the engine did not respond.