The flight departed to the east with four skydivers for a local jump. One witness stated that, immediately following the takeoff, about 200 feet above ground level, a “percussive” pop from the engine was heard. Two witnesses stated that the right wing dropped, and the airplane impacted the ground.
The airplane was departing for a skydiving flight. During rotation, the jump door opened, which was located on the right side of the airplane. The pilot said that he was not concerned with the door, which would not have critically impacted the airplane’s performance; however, an experienced parachutist attempted to secure the door to the point where he was partially outside of the airplane.
During flight at 10,000 feet above ground level, the engine began to vibrate and run rough. Shortly thereafter, a loud bang occurred and oil was present on the windscreen. The pilot attempted a forced landing, and during the forced landing, the airplane landed short of the runway and impacted a ditch.
The Beech King Air had undergone maintenance that included a landing gear disassembly and inspection in preparation for the airplane’s sale. Following the landing gear inspection, the left main landing gear strut was overfilled to an extension that exceeded maintenance specifications due to the strut not being able to maintain the manufacturer’s specified pressure/extension.
A Portuguese citizent, pretending to be a photographer, hijacked the aircraft.