The pilot departed with three passengers and three dogs, but only two seats. The airplane had been reconfigured (STC SA00352DE) for parachute jumping operations. The STC included the stipulation that the airplane could be used only for parachutist launching operations. Also, Title 14 CFR Part 91.107, (a)(3), states that each occupant of a civil aircraft must be provided with an approved seat [the fatally injured passenger was not] with seat belt, for movement on the surface, takeoff, and landing operations.
Approximately 1 hour into flight, the engine lost all power, and the pilot attempted a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the airplane struck a tree located at the approach end of the field. The pilot initially reported that he departed with 2 inches of fuel in each tank, with the intention of flying 1 hour.
After a parachute drop flight, the airplane taxied back to the ramp area. The airplane was parked on the ramp, with the engine running, while the next group of parachutists were boarding the airplane. During that time, a parachutist who had just landed, contacted the propeller and sustained a serious injury.
While the aircraft was level at 10,500 feet above sea level (MSL), four skydivers took their positions on the right exterior jump-step of the aircraft. Just after the last jumper was on the step, the parachute of one of the jumpers inadvertently deployed and streamed back into the aircraft’s tail surfaces.
The pilot made a hard landing collapsing the nose gear and damaging the firewall. The pilot took off and turned to downwind for landing. He reported that he flew an uneventful and normal approach. He said that he touched down on the main landing gear, but the nose gear folded under the airplane as it touched down.
The helicopter’s main rotor blade contacted a photographer fatally injuring him. Before lift off, ground crew informed the pilot that there were four canopies in the vicinity of the takeoff area. The pilot immediately took off and began following a mowed grass area adjacent to an area of corn in which the photographer was standing in and unseen by the pilot.
The pilot stated that he had recently purchased the airplane in Deland, Florida, and was ferrying it to Southeast Greensboro Airport, Greensboro, North Carolina. He said that he was enroute to the Siler City Municipal Airport, Siler City, North Carolina, for a scheduled fuel stop, and was approaching the airport at an altitude of about 5,500 feet, when the engine ceased operating.
After the parachutists jumped, the airplane was descending through 9,000 feet msl, and the engine lost partial power. The pilot verified that carburetor heat was on, the cowl flaps were closed, the fuel selector was positioned to “Both,” and the mixture was rich. She continued descending and entered a left traffic pattern for the runway. The pilot initially judged her pattern distance based on the available engine power.
While landing on runway 3, the airplane’s right wing contacted the runway and the airplane landed hard. A weather observation reported at an airport about 18 miles northeast of the accident site, included winds from 320 degrees at 13 knots. The pilot further reported that he conducted an uneventful flight an hour prior to the accident, with the same wind conditions.
The airplane initiated a forced landing after a partial loss of engine power during the takeoff initial climb. During the initial run-up the magneto check was not within acceptable limits; however, approximately 15 minutes later the pilot rechecked the magnetos and they were within acceptable limits. The pilot said he configured and checked the airplane prior to takeoff with 10 degrees of flaps and all gages “in the green.”
The pilot landed long beyond his intended touchdown point. He delayed his decision to initiate a go-around. The airplane struck trees at the end of the runway.
After releasing parachutists, the pilot planned to return to the airport. During the descent, about 2,500 feet msl, the engine began to lose power. The pilot thought that carburetor ice caused the power loss, and performed emergency procedures, which included the application of carburetor heat. The engine did not regain power, and the pilot planned an emergency landing to a field.
On the fourth parachute drop flight of the day for the pilot and aircraft, the pilot detected a reduction in elevator control authority on takeoff. He elected to continue the takeoff and climbed to 3,500 feet agl, where he released the two parachutists. On return to the airport, he used power to control his flare, but landed hard and began a porpoise maneuver.
A US Army Pilatus UV-20A collided in midair with a Cessna 182C during parachute jumping operations. The collision occurred about 4,800 feet msl (2,800 feet agl) on the northeast side of runway 12 abeam the approach end. Both aircraft had made multiple flights taking jumpers aloft prior to the accident. The Pilatus departed runway 12 about 5 minutes prior to the Cessna’s departure on the same runway.
A US Army Pilatus UV-20A collided in midair with a Cessna 182C during parachute jumping operations. The collision occurred about 4,800 feet mean sea level (msl) (2,800 feet above ground level (agl)) on the northeast side of runway 12 abeam the approach end. Both aircraft had made multiple flights taking jumpers aloft prior to the accident. The Pilatus departed runway 12 about 5 minutes prior to the Cessna’s departure on the same runway.