The acft lost part of one blade of the propeller during the climb to cruise phase of operation. The passengers were skydivers so they used their parachutes in an exit of the acft as the airframe started to vibrate. The plt made a successful landing on the arpt without power. All the jumpers landed safety. Visual examination of the propeller showed that the blade had separated 10 to 12 inches outboard from the blade root. The fracture exhibited evidence typical of high cycle fatigue and overload stress.
The acft collided with a truck while taking off but managed to stay airborne, fly a mission and return to a normal landing. The private plt was reportedly carrying 8 passengers for a parachute drop. He would not admit he was carrying passengers and none of the passengers would give a written statement. One of the jumpers stated that during takeoff the plt flew the acft to the left side of the rwy where the ground crew truck was parked. The tail wheel of the acft hit theroof of the truck. One of the jumpers said that the private plt was paid to fly them. The pilot’s assessment of the damage was loosened brackets on the tail wheel attachment. No one was reported as injured.
While descending toward the arpt, after 4 parachute jumpers had egressed, the eng loss all power. There was insufficient alt to glide to the arpt, so the plt elected to land in an area with rice paddies. As the acft touched down, it encountered a dike & nosed over, an exam revealed that some fuel was remaining in the fuel tanks. About 1 pint of fuel was drained from the fire wall fuel strainer. No water was found in the fuel sys. Aprx 25 mi south at merced, ca, the temp & dew point were 87 & 50 deg, respective. According to icg probability charts, carb ice would have been possible at glide power; however, icing was not verified.
The acft was on a sport parachute flt to carry 24 parachutists to 12,500′ over a drop zone (dz) for a mass jump. It was in a cargo configuration with no passenger seats, but it had 1 jump seat. There were 24 seat belts on the floor of the cargo area. Also, the cabin door had been removed & an unapproved step & 4 handholds were installed outside & forward of the cabin door for parachutists. The usual jump-run procedure was for the acft to be slowed to 95 to 100 kts, extend the gear & apch flaps & reduce power on the left eng. The jumpers remained in position without using seat belts until apchg the dz, then 2 moved outside the acft while others moved close to the doorway. The 1st jumpers were unaware of anyproblem, but saw the acft enter a steep bank, roll over & spiral nose down. 16 jumpers exited the acft, but 3 hit the stabilizer. The acft crashed in a near vertical dscnt. Investigation revealed the cg was behind the aft limit for takeoff & the jump. The elevator trim actuator was found in a position for full nose-up trim.
The purpose of the flt was to transport 3 student parachute jumpers. After the jumpers egressed, the plt & jumpmaster returned to the arpt. During the landing, the acft hit a ridge on the grass rwy & bounced in the air. The acft then touched down in a crab, slid sideways & the left main gear collapsed. According to the plt, the wind was from the northeast at 5 gusting 10 kts.
The acft was on a parachute jumping mission. After climbing to 9000 ft msl, 4 sky divers jumped out & the plt began a descent back to the arpt. The acft was seen level at aprx 500 ft agl & in the aprx position for a downwind leg for a left pattern for runway 36. About 1/2 mi north of the normal turn point for the base leg, the acft began a steep descending left turn. Witnesses described a bank angle of 45 to 75 deg & a nose down attitude of 20 to 30 deg. One of the witnesses reported that the bank and descent angles then began to decrease, but at impact, the nose was still low & the bank angle was about 20 deg. Observers saw no indication of plt control movement before impact. An exam of the wreckage revealed no evidence of an inflt failure/malfunction. The plt’s wife said that onoccasions, he had experienced severe headaches, but never to an alarming point. She reported that he took only asprin for the headaches. Pathological & toxicological exams reflected no evidence of a preimpact incapactiating problem.
After returning from a sport parachuting flt, the plt landed on rwy 3 with a 5-kt, right x-wind. He stated that the touchdown was normal, but when the tailwheel came down at aprx 40 kts, the acft started to turn to the left. He corrected with right rudder & brake, then the acft veered to the right. He then tried to correct back to the left, but the acft continued off the right side & came to rest in a ravine. After the accident, the plt reported a right brake malfunction. However, when he submitted an accident report, he indicated there was no mechanical failure or malfunction.
The parachute of one of the jumpers deployed prematurely. The shroud lines entangled in the right horizontal stabilizer & elevator. As the parachute inflated, the stabilizer was bent downward, & the elevator partially ripped from the trailing edge of the stabilizer. The jumper was liberated from the entanglement & safely landed using his reserve chute.The remaining jumpers exited the acft & the plt safely landed the acft.
The plt took off from a small arpt to reposition the acft on a road to pick up sky divers. During the landing, he lost control of the acft & it swerved off the road & hit a tree.
As the student jumper was getting out of the aircraft and onto the step in preparation for a parachute jump the pack tray prematurely opened and the canopy blossomed under the tail pulling the jumper into the horizontal stabilizer causing a cut on his left shin. About 15 inches of the right horizontal stabilizer and elevator were sheared by the jumper. The remainder was crumpled and deformed from mid-span outward. A witness stated that the only way this could happen was if the pilot had the yoke back and the tail low. In other premature openings the witness had been involved with, the parachute opened under the tail and the jumper also went under the tail clearing the aircraft structure in all cases.
While in flt on a parachute jumping mission, a fire erupted in the right eng area & a precautionary landing was made. An exam revealed that the float fulcrum screw, pn 13773, on the stromberg carburetor had backed out & allowed fuel to escape into the exhaust area. Reportedly, the screw had not been safety wired.
Three observers accompanied the aircrew & other passengers on a flt to transport skydivers aloft. Prior to the flt, all 3 of the observers were briefed not to exit the acft until the engines were secured. However, 1 of the 3 discussed the need to move a cessna 172 at the completion of the flt. After returning from the flt, the aircrew stopped the plane on the ramp. While the engines were still running, the occupant that wanted to move the cessna exited the acft. Unbeknown to him & the plt, the other 2 occupants also exited the acft. One of them walked into the arc of the left propeller & received a fatal head injury.