Category: Accident Year
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.
In a telephone conversation with a National Transportation Safety Board aviation accident investigator,
the pilot reported that while on the left downwind to land on runway 21, he was cleared to land and
started to configure the airplane. He opened the cowl flaps, fuel mixture was full rich, and the propeller
was full forward. The pilot stated that it was when he was abeam the approach end of the runway that a
total loss of engine power occurred. He switched fuel tanks from right to left and turned on the electric
fuel pump, attempted to restart the engine, but to no avail. Concerned that he would not make the
runway, he elected to land on a highway, which is adjacent to the east of the airport. During the landing
roll the right wing impacted a pole, which resulted in the airplane nosing over and coming to rest
inverted. The pilot also mentioned that two trips prior to the accident flight, he added 29 gallons of fuel.
Subsequent to having egressed the airplane, he observed fuel leaking from both tanks.
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.
The pilot in the landing airplane reported that, he had turned on the airport runway pilot-controlled lighting about 5 miles prior to arriving at the airport, and transmitted 2-mile final radio call, over the airport’s CTAF. He landed the airplane and made “S” turns on runway 28 because, “it is not possible to see the opposite threshold” when established on the runway. When the pilot began a right turn to exit the runway at the mid-field taxiway, an airplane that had initiated a takeoff roll from the opposite end of the runway collided with the landing airplane. The airport’s runway does not have a parallel taxiway and it is standard practice to back taxi to the departure end.
On September 20, 2019, about 1230 central daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N895SF, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at Pepperell Airport (26MA), Pepperell, Massachusetts. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the skydiving flight that departed at 1215. The airplane was privately owned and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
On June 29, 2019, about 0910 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N80JF, was substantially damaged while landing at Blackwater Creek Ultralight Flightpark (9FD2), Plant City, Florida. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to ISR Aviation LLC and operated as Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 skydiving flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The local flight originated about 0900.
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.
“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 pilot reported that, while he was climbing the airplane to jump altitude with skydivers onboard, it
encountered “light rain,” so he decided to postpone the jump and return to the airport. Upon crossing the
runway threshold, about 100 ft above ground level, he initiated a go-around, but the airplane “did not
climb.” The pilot then decided to land on the remaining runway. After touchdown, he applied full
braking, but the airplane overran the end of the runway into a corn field.
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 commercial pilot was conducting a cross-country flight to deliver the airplane to a maintenance
facility. The airplane departed with full fuel tanks. The pilot stated that, as the airplane neared the
planned fuel stop airport, he thought that there was adequate fuel remaining to reach the maintenance
facility, so he did not stop to refuel and continued to the destination. About 4 hours 23 minutes into the
flight, which was past the expected fuel exhaustion time of about 4 hours 18 minutes (assuming a fuel
burn of 50 gallons per hour, which the pilot used for his initial flight planning), the pilot declared an
emergency and advised an air traffic controller that the airplane was out of fuel. The controller provided
information to the pilot about nearby airports, but the airplane would not have been able to reach any of
them, so the pilot initiated a forced landing to a field. Before touchdown in the field, the pilot descended
to avoid power lines ahead, but the airplane hit one of the lines. The airplane touched down in the field,
impacted an embankment, and came to rest upright on a road. The airplane sustained substantial
The pilot was conducting parachute jump operations near the airport. After climbing to altitude, he
released his jumpers and returned to land. The pilot reported that, during the landing flare, the airplane
struck the runway nosewheel first. He added that the airplane bounced, floated down the runway, and
then settled to the right of the runway.
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
The commercial pilot was on the second leg of a postmaintenance flight. The first flight leg, which was
about 1-hour long, was uneventful, and the pilot reported that the fuel selector was positioned to the
right tank during this flight leg. He landed the airplane but did not purchase fuel before departing for the
return leg. The pilot reported that, during the return leg, the fuel selector was positioned to the left tank.
While on final approach to the airport, the pilot added power to go around. He turned onto the crosswind
and then downwind legs of the airport traffic pattern, and while on the downwind leg, the engine lost all
power. The pilot switched the fuel selector to the right tank, but engine power was not restored.
Realizing that the airplane would be unable to reach the runway, the pilot conducted a forced landing in
trees, and the airplane came to rest inverted.
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.
The pilot of the twin-engine, turbine-powered airplane reported that, while providing flights for
skydivers throughout the day, he had a potential new hire pilot flying with him in the right seat. He
added that, on the eighth flight of the day, the new pilot was flying during the approach and
“approximately 200′ [ft.] south from the threshold of [runway] 15 at approximately 15 feet AGL [above
ground level] the bottom violently and unexpectedly dropped out. [He] believe[d] some kind of wind
shear caused the aircraft [to] slam onto [the] runway and bounce into the air at a 45 to 60-degree bank
angle to the right.” The prospective pilot then said, “you got it.” The pilot took control of the airplane
and initiated a go-around by increasing power, which aggravated the “off runway heading.” The right
wing contacted the ground, the airplane exited the runway to the right and impacted a fuel truck, and the
right wing separated from the airplane. The impact caused the pilot to unintentionally add max power,
and the airplane, with only the left engine functioning, ground looped to the right, coming to rest nose
The pilot reported that, during the takeoff roll, the airplane encountered a wind gust and veered left off
the runway centerline. He added that the airplane became airborne but that he did not have “enough
time” to avoid a parked helicopter. Subsequently, the left wing impacted the helicopter. He then reduced
the engine power, and the airplane landed without further incident.
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 private pilot was landing the airplane at the conclusion of a cross-country flight when the engine
experienced a total loss of power in the airport traffic pattern. The pilot attempted to restart the engine
without success and subsequently landed the airplane in a field, where it impacted a fence and irrigation
equipment. The pilot stated the right fuel tank was selected at the time of the accident. Postaccident
examination revealed that the right tank contained 14 to 15 gallons of fuel, and that the left fuel tank
contained about 1 gallon of fuel. The fuel selector was in the right tank position. The engine functioned
normally during a postaccident test run. Given the lack of engine anomalies, it is likely that the airplane
was operating on the left tank at the time of the accident, and the loss of engine power was the result of
fuel starvation; it is likely that the pilot moved the fuel selector to the right tank position during his
attempt to restart the engine.