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1 2016 C-208 Caravan Dunnellon Fatal Fatal Single-Engine FL Premature Deployment

C-208 Caravan Fatal (1) Dunnellon, FL October 14, 2016

The airplane was at 1,250 ft above ground level carrying a load of skydivers. According to a
skydiving instructor onboard the airplane, the jumpmaster leaned forward to assist a skydiver
in exiting the airplane when the jumpmaster’s reserve parachute inadvertently deployed and
entered the airplane’s slipstream. The jumpmaster attempted to pull the parachute back into
the airplane but was pulled into the door frame and dragged out of the airplane. The
jumpmaster, who appeared to be unconscious, descended to the ground beneath his streaming
(unopened) reserve parachute without deploying his main parachute. The pilot maintained
control of the airplane and landed safely. Examination of the jumpmaster’s reserve parachute
revealed that it was damaged by impact with the door frame, thus it did not deploy properly. It
is likely that the jumpmaster failed to guard his reserve parachute ripcord, which was exposed
on the front of his parachute, and the ripcord snagged on something as he attempted to assist
the exiting skydiver, which caused the reserve parachute to deploy prematurely.

Read the NTSB report

The airplane was at 1,250 ft above ground level carrying a load of skydivers. According to a
skydiving instructor onboard the airplane, the jumpmaster leaned forward to assist a skydiver
in exiting the airplane when the jumpmaster’s reserve parachute inadvertently deployed and
entered the airplane’s slipstream. The jumpmaster attempted to pull the parachute back into
the airplane but was pulled into the door frame and dragged out of the airplane. The
jumpmaster, who appeared to be unconscious, descended to the ground beneath his streaming
(unopened) reserve parachute without deploying his main parachute. The pilot maintained
control of the airplane and landed safely. Examination of the jumpmaster’s reserve parachute
revealed that it was damaged by impact with the door frame, thus it did not deploy properly. It
is likely that the jumpmaster failed to guard his reserve parachute ripcord, which was exposed
on the front of his parachute, and the ripcord snagged on something as he attempted to assist
the exiting skydiver, which caused the reserve parachute to deploy prematurely.

Read the NTSB report

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