On May 23, 2016 about 0922 Hawaiian standard time, a Cessna 182H, N2007X, was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after departure from Port Allen (PAK), Hanapepe, Hawaii. The pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, D & J Air Adventures, Inc., as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 flight as a part of the skydiving flight operation. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan filed. The local flight originated from PAK at about 0921.
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The airplane, carrying 18 skydivers and two crew members, crashed into a field.
After preflighting the airplane, adding fuel and checking the oil, the pilot radioed that he was taxiing to runway 32. Witnesses subsequently observed the airplane takeoff on runway 32, make a 180-degree turn toward the south, and then fly downwind and parallel to the runway at an altitude of between 300 and 500 feet above ground level. At approximately the end of the runway the airplane was observed making a left turn onto base leg for runway 32, followed by a steep turn to final before nosing into the ground and bursting into flames.
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Witnesses reported that the single-engine airplane’s takeoff and climb appeared to be normal. As the airplane climbed through 400 feet, a puff of black smoke was observed emanating from the right side of the engine compartment. The airplane nosed up slightly, then nosed down turning about 360 degrees before descending rapidly from view.
The airplane flew eight times on the same day, prior to the accident flight, taking skydivers aloft and releasing them. According to the airplane’s log, the airplane was refueled 2 flights prior to the accident flight with 20 gallons of fuel. According to the owner, this was to keep the airplane within the center of gravity limits.
Witnesses reported that immediately after the airplane took off, it went into a left turn, and that its nose then dropped and it impacted the ground at a steep angle. No evidence of preimpact conditions interfering with normal operation was found during on-site examination or in follow-up examinations of the airplane’s engine, propeller, and carburetor.