2016 AZ C-182 Fire Gilbert Loss of Aircraft Control Non-Fatal Single-Engine Pilot Exit on EBR

C-182P Non-Fatal Gilbert, AZ September 17, 2016

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.

Read the NTSB report.