On December 7, 2021, at 2124 eastern standard time, a Cessna 182 airplane, N5776B, was
destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Statesboro, Georgia. The commercial pilot
was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal
Regulations Part 91 personal flight.
According to a family member who spoke with the pilot the evening of the accident, she had
flown from Florida into the Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport (TBR), Statesboro, Georgia, for
a meeting in the local area and planned to return that night.
The airplane was operating as part of a commercial skydiving operation, Ultimate Skydiving
Adventures, LLC, based at the Blake Field Airport (AJZ), Delta, Colorado. The pilot had just completed
the 8th skydiving flight of the day, the skydivers onboard had already egressed from the airplane, and the
pilot was returning to land at AJZ. About 8,000 ft msl, the engine stopped producing power. The pilot
attempted to troubleshoot the total loss of engine power with no change. The pilot decided she would be
unable to make it back to AJZ due to the loss of engine power.
On July 31, 2021, about 1125 central daylight time, a Cessna 182N airplane, N287TC, was
substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Ennis, Texas. The pilot was not
injured. The flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part
91 as a skydiving operation.
After the owner was given permission by the NTSB to remove the airplane from the roadway, the wings
were removed for transport, and the airplane was transported to N37, where the wreckage was examined by an FAA inspector. Since the wings had been removed to transport the airplane, the inspector could not check the remaining fuel quantity. However, the chief pilot of Skydive Lancaster, which used the
airplane for its skydiving (parachuting) operation, advised the FAA that when he was on-scene during
the wing removal, that 5 to 6 total gallons of fuel was removed from the left wing fuel tank, and that the
right wing fuel tank was empty. The FAA inspector also received a statement from the mechanic who
had removed the wings for transport, where he stated that he estimated 4 to 5 gallons were removed
from the left wing, and the right tank was dry. A visual examination of both wings by the FAA
inspector, also revealed the left wing fuel tank feed hose displayed dampness, and there was visible
staining consistent with the blue dye used in 100LL aviation gasoline around the area where the wing
was de-mated for transport. The right wing hose however was dry, and no staining was present.
“According to the pilot, he started carrying skydivers several days before the accident after familiarizing himself with the airport and airplane. The accident occurred on the fourth flight of the day. Around 2,000 ft during the initial climb, the airplane experienced a radio failure and the pilot noted a slight change in engine sound. He consulted with one of the tandem skydivers and continued to climb to 7,500 ft to allow the two pairs of skydivers to jump, which he felt was the safest course of action.”
“On August 25, 2018, about 1400 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 182A, N4785D, was destroyed after a collision with terrain at East Georgia Regional Airport (SBO), Swainsboro, Georgia. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured, while one passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was operated by The Jumping Place Skydiving Center as a skydiving flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.”
The commercial pilot reported that he had been conducting skydiving support flights on the day of the
accident. Before his first flight, the airplane had about 23 gallons of fuel onboard. He flew the airplane
for about 4.0 hours and then added about 18 gallons of fuel to the airplane. He flew three more local
flights and then made a second fuel stop and added 14 gallons of fuel to the airplane. The pilot did not
conduct fuel consumption checks to estimate the engine’s fuel consumption rate nor did he check the
total fuel quantity in the tanks after the first and second refuelings. After making two more local flights
and while on final approach to the airport, the engine lost total power, and the pilot conducted a forced
landing to a residential area, during which the right elevator and right wing sustained substantial
The pilot stated that shortly after takeoff on the skydiving flight, the airplane’s engine made a “clicking”
sound and lost power. The pilot subsequently performed a forced landing to a field, during which the
airplane flipped over and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, right wing, and tail. Examination
of the engine revealed the crankcase web mating surfaces at the Nos. 2, 3, and 4 bearing saddles
exhibited pitting consistent with fretting, which was indicative of improper preloading (torque) of the
through bolts. Additionally, the No. 2 main bearing was displaced from its saddle and severely worn,
and the crankshaft fractured due to fatigue. A review of maintenance records revealed the engine’s
camshaft and lifters were replaced about 280 hours before the accident; this was the last documented
time during which the applicable through bolts and associated nuts would have been assembled. Given
this information, it is likely that maintenance personnel failed to properly apply torque to these through
bolts during this maintenance, which ultimately resulted in the crankshaft failure and the subsequent loss
of engine power.
Before taking off for the skydiving flight with four passengers, the commercial pilot refueled the airplane. Shortly
after the airplane rotated, the passengers told the pilot that fuel was leaking from the left wing. The pilot
believed that the leak was an immediate fire risk, so he decided to perform an off-airport landing. The pilot
abruptly lowered the airplane’s nose and landed in a field. The airplane impacted terrain in a left-wing-low
attitude and then hit a berm. The engine and right main landing gear separated during the impact sequence, and
the left and right wings sustained substantial damage.
The pilot reported that he departed for a parachute jump flight with 12 gallons of fuel onboard. He added
that, after the parachute jumpers exited the airplane about 10,500 ft mean sea level (msl), he initiated a
left spiraling descent back to the airport. He further added that he “heard and felt the engine start [to]
quiet down as if it was shutting down.” He then began to make right descending turns and verified that
the fuel selector was in the “both” position. He added that the cylinder head temperature was decreasing,
so he switched back to left descending turns and that the “fuel starvation due to banking happened two
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.
On the fourth skydiving flight of the day, the commercial pilot climbed the airplane to 10,000 ft mean
sea level (msl), and after the last jumper had departed the airplane, the pilot initiated a steep left turning
descent. When the airplane was at 3,000 ft msl, the engine lost total power. The pilot was unable to
restart the engine and turned the airplane to land on the runway, but when he realized that it would not
be able to reach the runway, he landed in a field short of the approach end of the runway. During the
ground roll, the airplane nosed over and then came to rest inverted. The fuselage and wings sustained
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
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. The pilot shut off the fuel and
performed a slip maneuver in an attempt to extinguish the fire to no avail. After realizing that the
airplane would not be able to reach the nearest airport, he tried to aim the airplane toward a field and
then jumped out of the airplane. The airplane subsequently impacted a house, and most of the airplane
and the house’s interior were consumed by fire.
The commercial pilot reported that, after dropping off skydivers, he made a rapid spiraling descent back
to the airport. The pilot added that, because the wind had changed such that it resulted in a tailwind, he
initiated a go-around during the landing approach; however, when he advanced the throttle, the engine
initially surged and then lost power. The pilot made a forced landing in a corn field near the end of the
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Safety Inspector that arrived at the scene
shortly after the accident, he located the uninjured pilot in command (PIC) and a passenger rated pilot
who were the only occupants of the airplane. The inspector reported that the PIC told him that he had
fueled the airplane prior to the flight. The PIC told the inspector that he had flown 2.5 hours on the right
tank which indicated 3.9 gallons of fuel remained per the electronic fuel quantity indicator, at which
time he switched to the left tank which indicated 15 gallons of fuel remained per the electronic fuel
quantity indicator. The PIC reported to the inspector thatafter switching tanks the engine ran for an
additional five minutes and ceased operation. The PIC told the inspector that he contacted air traffic
control (ATC) stating that he had experienced an “engine failure”, and that they would not make it to the
nearest airport. The pilot landed the airplane on a highway five miles from the destination airport.
During the landing the nose gear collapsed and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall.
The commercial pilot and four passenger-skydivers were departing in the airplane on a local area
skydiving flight in visual meteorological conditions. Witnesses observed the airplane make a normal
takeoff from the runway. Two witnesses reported that, shortly after takeoff, the engine seemed to stop
producing power. Subsequently, the airplane rolled to the right while rapidly losing altitude. The
airplane completed about a 360° rotation and impacted terrain in a nose-down attitude.
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.” The pilot recalled that after dropping the
sky divers, he made his approach to land; the airplane ballooned during the flare, and landed hard on all
three landing gear. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall.
The commercial pilot was returning the airplane to the departure airport for landing after a skydiving
flight. Two witnesses reported observing the pilot fly the airplane over the runway; one witness said it
was about 50 ft above ground level (agl), and the other witness said it was about 100 ft agl. One of the
witnesses added that, when the airplane reached the end of the runway, it pitched up about 45 degrees,
gained about 200 ft of altitude, and then entered a turn with a 45-bank angle. The witness added that,
after the airplane had turned about 90 degrees to a westerly heading, its nose dropped, and the airplane
“immediately dove.” The airplane subsequently entered a left spin and rotated about 180 degrees before
impacting trees and then the ground. A second witness noted that the engine sounded like it was at “full
throttle” during the descent as if the pilot was attempting to recover from the dive.
The commercial pilot was conducting a local skydiving flight with four skydivers. After the airplane
climbed to 3,800 ft, one of the skydivers deployed, and at 11,000 ft, the remaining three skydivers
deployed. The pilot stated that the procedure for deploying skydivers was to input 10° of flaps before the
skydivers’ deployment. After the last skydiver exited the airplane, the pilot closed the door and started to
retract the flaps from 10° to 0°. The pilot heard a “metallic” snap, and the airplane went into a spin. The
pilot recovered the airplane from the spin about 7,000 ft. He discovered that the right flap was partially
deployed about 5° down and appeared to be crooked in its track. In addition, he noted a vibration from
the right flap with restricted aileron control. The pilot stated that lateral control was difficult to maintain.
After a radio conference with a mechanic and about 30 minutes of trying to control the airplane, the pilot
chose to bail out of the airplane; he maneuvered the airplane over unpopulated farmland, shut down the
engine, and parachuted. The pilot watched the airplane circle after his parachute deployed. The pilot
landed and did not sustain injuries; the airplane impacted terrain and sustained substantial damage.
The commercial pilot reported that, during a skydiving flight, the engine experienced a total loss of
power during final approach for landing. The pilot initiated a forced landing to a field, and during the
landing sequence, the airplane impacted a tree.
No fuel was observed in the fuel tanks or fuel lines during recovery of the wreckage. Postaccident
examination revealed no mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal
operation of the airplane. The company fuel log indicated that about 18.2 gallons of useable fuel were
onboard the accident airplane before the first flight of the day; the accident occurred during the third
The commercial pilot reported that he maneuvered back toward the airport to land after dropping
skydivers. During the approach for landing, about 1,000 ft above the airport, the engine experienced a
total loss of power. The pilot was unable to restart the engine and subsequently initiated a forced landing
to the desert floor.
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.
The pilot was on final approach when the engine started to run out of fuel. She said her boss
had a similar problem on a previous flight, and had to correct for it by pitching the nose up and
down to force fuel into the fuel lines. The pilot recalled pitching the nose up and down but
nothing after that. A witness, who saw the airplane pitching up and down several times before
it impacted the ground, responded to the crash. He noted that the fuel selector was set to the
"both" position and no fuel was leaking from either fuel tank’s gas cap. When the
airplane was righted, the witness said he saw several gallons of fuel drain from the left tank but
not the right tank. When he visually checked the right fuel tank, it was empty. The left tank had
about 9 gallons (about 6.5 gallons usable) still in the tank. A postaccident examination of the
airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed the airplane sustained
substantial damage to the firewall, forward engine mounts, right wing and vertical stabilizer
and rudder. About 6 gallons of fuel was drained from the left wing tank and the right tank was
empty. A review of the terrain where the airplane impacted the ground revealed the vegetation
around the left tank was discolored from fuel, but the area around the right tank was not. No
pre mishap mechanical discrepancies were noted with the engine or airplane that would have
precluded normal operation.