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1 2012 Beech 18 Fatal Fatal Multi-Engine IL Loss of Aircraft Control Taylorville

Beech 18 Fatal (1) Taylorville, IL August 11, 2012

The airplane had climbed to an altitude of about 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl) with 12 parachutists
seated inside the airplane on two rear-facing “straddle benches.” The airplane was flying at an indicated
speed of 100 mph with the flaps retracted. The operator’s written guidance for “skydiving jump runs”
indicated that the airspeed should be maintained at 110 to 120 mph and that the flaps should be set at 30
degrees. As the airplane arrived at the planned drop location, the parachutists stood up, opened the door,
and moved farther aft in the airplane to prepare for their jump. Five of the parachutists were positioned
aft of the straddle benches and were hanging onto the outside of the airplane, several of the other
parachutists were standing in the door, and the remainder of the parachutists were standing in the cabin
forward of the door. According to instructions on the operator’s skydiver briefing card, no more than
four jumpers should be allowed to occupy the door area during exit. Several parachutists heard the
sounds of the airplane’s stall warning system, and the airplane then suddenly rolled and began to
descend. All 12 parachutists quickly exited the airplane. Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane
turning and descending in an inverted nose-down attitude and then appear to briefly recover, but it then
entered a nearly vertical dive, which is consistent with a loss of control event as a result of an
aerodynamic stall and subsequent entry into a spin.

Read the NTSB report.

The airplane had climbed to an altitude of about 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl) with 12 parachutists
seated inside the airplane on two rear-facing “straddle benches.” The airplane was flying at an indicated
speed of 100 mph with the flaps retracted. The operator’s written guidance for “skydiving jump runs”
indicated that the airspeed should be maintained at 110 to 120 mph and that the flaps should be set at 30
degrees. As the airplane arrived at the planned drop location, the parachutists stood up, opened the door,
and moved farther aft in the airplane to prepare for their jump. Five of the parachutists were positioned
aft of the straddle benches and were hanging onto the outside of the airplane, several of the other
parachutists were standing in the door, and the remainder of the parachutists were standing in the cabin
forward of the door. According to instructions on the operator’s skydiver briefing card, no more than
four jumpers should be allowed to occupy the door area during exit. Several parachutists heard the
sounds of the airplane’s stall warning system, and the airplane then suddenly rolled and began to
descend. All 12 parachutists quickly exited the airplane. Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane
turning and descending in an inverted nose-down attitude and then appear to briefly recover, but it then
entered a nearly vertical dive, which is consistent with a loss of control event as a result of an
aerodynamic stall and subsequent entry into a spin.

Read the NTSB report.

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