On June 21, 2019, at 1822 Hawaii-Aleutian standard time, a Beech 65-A90, N256TA, collided with terrain after takeoff from Dillingham Airfield (HDH), Mokuleia, Hawaii. The commercial pilot and ten passengers sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was owned by N80896 LLC, and was being operated by Oahu Parachute Center (OPC) under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local sky-diving flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
The commercial pilot reported that, while setting up for a skydiving jump run, the airspeed was a little
slow, and the airplane abruptly stalled, rolled left, and began rotating downward. A jumper, seated in the
copilot’s seat, stated that the pilot did not retard the throttles during the recovery attempt and that the
airplane’s airspeed increased rapidly. The jumper also reported that he heard a “loud bang” during the
recovery sequence. The pilot briefly recovered the airplane to a wings-level attitude, but it then
subsequently stalled and entered another spin. During the second spin event, all the jumpers successfully
egressed. After about nine rotations, the pilot recovered the airplane to a wings- and pitch-level attitude,
and shortly thereafter, it broke off to the left and stalled and rotated downward again. The pilot
recovered the airplane again and flew back to the airport because the airplane was handling abnormally,
and he landed it without further incident.
The commercial pilot was conducting a skydiving flight with 15 skydivers on board. The pilot reported
that, at 5,000 ft above ground level, he reconfigured the airplane for a climb and activated the interior
amber jump lights, which indicated that the door could be opened to spot the jump zone. Two jumpers
safely exited the airplane at that time. The pilot then initiated another climb. The pilot did not recall any
jump indication lights being illuminated in the cabin during the climb, and none of the remaining
jumpers notified him of any illuminated jump lights. However, three of the jumpers later reported that
the amber jump light remained illuminated at that time. One of the jumpers informed a senior jumper
from the operator that the light was on, but he indicated that it was not a problem, and the jumpers all
affirmed that no one informed the pilot that the amber light remained on.
The pilot reported that the airplane floated during the landing flare, touched down long,
bounced, and went off the end of the runway. The airplane struck two ditches before coming to
rest on a road. The pilot stated that he should have recognized that braking action would be
significantly reduced with the possibility of hydroplaning, that pulling the power levers to the
stops before touchdown induced a lag in realization of reverse thrust, and that he should have
executed a go-around when the airplane floated before landing. No mechanical failures or
malfunctions of the airplane were reported. Heavy rain was reported about the time of the
accident at a nearby airport.
Before the flight, the pilot did not obtain a weather briefing and departed without approval from
company personnel. The airplane departed the airport about 0230 and climbed to 14,500 feet mean sea
level. The pilot obtained visual flight rules (VFR) flight following services from air traffic control
(ATC) personnel during the flight. While the airplane was en route, ATC personnel advised the pilot that
an area of moderate precipitation was located about 15 miles ahead along the airplane’s flight path. The
pilot acknowledged the transmission and was then directed to contact another controller. About 3
minutes later, the new controller advised the pilot of an area of moderate to extreme precipitation about
2 miles ahead of the airplane. The pilot responded that he could see the weather and asked the controller
for a recommendation for a reroute. The controller indicated he didn’t have a recommendation, but
finished by saying a turn to the west (a right turn) away from the weather would probably be better. The
pilot responded that he would make a right turn. There was no further radio contact with the pilot. Flight
track data indicated the airplane was in a right turn when radar contact was lost. A review of the radar
data, available weather information, and airplane wreckage indicated the airplane flew through a heavy
to extreme weather radar echo containing a thunderstorm and subsequently broke up in flight.
Postaccident examination revealed no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the airframe and
engines that would have precluded normal operation.
While landing, the airplane touched down short of the runway, the left main landing gear impacted the edge of the runway and collapsed, and the airplane departed the edge of the runway into a culvert. The airplane’s left wing sustained substantial damage.
The Beech King Air had undergone maintenance that included a landing gear disassembly and inspection in preparation for the airplane’s sale. Following the landing gear inspection, the left main landing gear strut was overfilled to an extension that exceeded maintenance specifications due to the strut not being able to maintain the manufacturer’s specified pressure/extension.
During a skydiving flight at approximately 14,000 feet, an instructor positioned himself at the door opening with his jump student nearby. The student inadvertently pulled the instructor’s reserve parachute D-ring, deploying the chute and pulling the instructor out of the airplane
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.
Following an uneventful flight, the pilot overflew the destination airport and observed no apparent wind speed or direction on the windsock. The airplane approached the runway fast, and landed “very hard,” separating the right main landing gear from the airplane in the process.
The pilot began descending when he thought all jumpers had departed the airplane, but 1 jumper remained. The remaining jumper realized the airplane was descending but was too late to stop his exit. After exiting the airplane he contacted the horizontal stabilizer and broke the femur of his left leg.
The airplane lost engine power during descent. The 1,127-hour pilot elected to perform emergency engine out procedures and prepared for an emergency landing. After impact, the pilot observed the right engine nacelle engulfed in flames, which then spread to the fuselage. Review of the engine logbook revealed the engine was being operated in excess of 1,000 hours of the manufacturer’s recommended time between overhauls of 3,600 hours.
The pilot and eight parachutists were returning from a skydive meet. The pilot had obtained a weather briefing, which advised of instrument meteorological conditions at the destination, and filed a VFR flight plan, but it was never activated. Witnesses heard, but could not see, a twin engine turboprop pass over the airport, heading north out over the Great Salt Lake. They described the weather conditions as being a low ceiling with 1/4-mile visibility,
After takeoff the pilot raised the landing gear and then had to take evasive action to the right to avoid a flock of birds. As he performed the evasive maneuver, he raised the flaps. The aircraft was slow, and he kept the nose down to build up speed for the climb. Just as he was to commence the climb, he caught a glimpse of a wire ahead. He pulled up rapidly, but contacted the wire with the right wing.
The pilot stated that he was at 12,500 feet, preparing for a four-mile parachute jump run, when he had initial indications of a power/fuel problem. He said he told the skydivers to exit, then initiated a descending spiral to land, during which time the fuel flow became erratic. He said both engines ceased operating at 3,000 feet, and he did not account for the northwest wind, and crashed short of the runway.
The airplane impacted the terrain approximately 2,065 feet south of the departure end of runway 22. Damage to the cockpit section of the wreckage indicated a nose down crush angle of approximately 80 degrees. The wreckage path was on a 208 degree heading, and the distance from the initial impact to the location of the empennage was about 142 feet. The cockpit and cabin were destroyed by post impact fire.
Following the 12th sport parachute jump of the day, which occurred after sunset, ground witnesses observed the airplane descend into the ocean in a left wing low, nose down attitude. They did not hear the engines sputtering or popping, or see the airplane make any erratic movements during its descent.
The pilot had made a refueling stop at Vandalia, Illinois. She did not observe the refueling process, but the FBO also operated a King Air and she felt he knew the proper procedure to follow. The airplane was reportedly serviced with 235 gallons of Jet-A fuel (total capacity is 384 gallons). The pilot flew between 7,500 and 10,500 feet.
The pilot was taking off with 10 jumpers onboard. At the rotation speed of 100 knots, he used elevator trim to rotate the airplane, but it did not lift off the runway. He continued moving the trim wheel violently to pitch the nose up, and attempted to pull back on the yoke, but the airplane collided with rising terrain off the end of the runway.
The aircraft was damaged when a sport parachutist collided with the horizontal stabilizer while exiting the aircraft at 13,000 feet msl. According to statements from the pilots and other jumpers on board the aircraft, the injured jumper’s reserve parachute deployed as he exited the door. The parachute momentarily draped over the left leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer,
As the jumpmaster and student jumper backed into the door of the airplane in preparation for a tandem jump, he had a uncommanded deployment of his reserve parachute, that dragged them out the door. The jumpers went under the left horizontal stabilizer while the canopy went over the top. After a few seconds, the parachute shroud lines cut through the horizontal stabilizer and deformed the left elevator