On July 29, 2006, about 1345 central daylight time, a de Havilland DHC 6 100, N203E, registered to Adventure Aviation, LLC, and operated by Skydive Quantum Leap as a local parachute operations flight, crashed into trees and terrain after takeoff from Sullivan Regional Airport, near Sullivan, Missouri. The pilot and five parachutists were killed, and two parachutists were seriously injured.
The airplane departed on a parachuting flight with 5 parachutists on board. Several witnesses reported hearing the airplane during climb out. Each witness described smooth engine noise, brief ‘sputtering,’ and then a total loss of engine power. The airplane descended straight ahead at the same pitch attitude, then the nose dropped, a parachutist exited, and the airplane entered a spiraling descent.
The parachute jump flight’s airplane was at 3,700 feet MSL when the pilot cancelled the operation with the FAA approach controller without explanation. Witnesses observed the airplane trailing white and black smoke. One witness said he saw the airplane trailing black smoke with its engine making a banging sound. Three witnesses at the accident airport said the airplane had smoke and flames coming from the airplane’s cowl and along the windshield as it approached the airport.
A passenger-parachutist stated she had exited the cabin and was on the jump platform preparing to jump from about 3,500 feet when the left wing and nose dropped and the aircraft entered a spin to the left. After an unknown number of revolutions she jumped from the aircraft and deployed her chute