The pilot was returning a group of skydivers to their home base after a weekend of skydiving. He flew several jump flights, and then stopped early in the afternoon to prepare the airplane for the flight home. The flight was planned into an area of clouds, turbulence, and icing, which the pilot had researched. He delayed the departure until he decided that he could complete the planned flight under visual flight rules (VFR).
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.
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.
Cessna U-206 Fatal (5) Brisbane, Australia January 2, 2006
Cessna 206 Fatal (5) Puntarenas, Costa Rica May 31, 2005
Cessna 207 Fatal (4) Tanauan City, Philippines May 08, 2005
The pilot stated that after the 14 jumpers left the airplane at 13,500 feet, southwest of the airport, he started his descent to the northeast. He approached the airport from the northeast overflew the airport, and made a left turn to enter the downwind leg for runway 23. He saw some parachutes on the ground and some in the air.
The pilot did not perform weight and balance calculations for the accident flight; though, postaccident calculations indicated that the airplane was under gross weight and the center of gravity was within limits. The pilot reported that he did not have any memory of the accident flight. The accident flight was the second flight of the day for the pilot and began immediately after landing from the previous skydive drop flight.
The local parachuting flight was to depart from the airport owned and maintained by the pilot. During the initial climb after takeoff from runway 09, the airplane drifted right and struck trees about 500 feet down the runway. The pilot stated that he did not see the trees before hitting them. A passenger stated that the pilot did not make any changes to the airplane’s flight path prior to impact with the trees.
The airplane entered an inverted spin during a skydiving operation when a parachutist’s parachute deployed while exiting the airplane at 10,500 feet mean sea level. The parachute became entangled around the right hand landing gear and the parachutist could not be freed. The pilot, who was wearing a parachute, and the remaining parachutists jumped from the airplane.
The airplane had not been flown for about 5 years prior to the accident, and was undergoing maintenance in preparation of a ferry flight. A mechanic reported that he had asked the pilot to conduct some engine run-ups as close to full power as possible. The pilot taxied to runway 35, a 2,470 foot-long, 35 foot-wide, gravel and turf runway; where he performed two high speed engine run-ups.
Cessna 206 Fatal (4) Optand, Sweeden August 6, 2004
Cessna 206 Fatal (4) Honiton, United Kingdom June 27, 2004
The 363-hour single-engine commercial rated pilot lost control of the airplane during a parachute activity flight. The airplane subsequently stalled and entered a spin to the left. A witness radioed the pilot and asked what was wrong, and the pilot replied that he was in a spin and didn’t know what to do.
Witnesses observed the airplane depart to the north, and experience a partial loss of power during the takeoff climb. The airplane then began a turn to the left, and initiated what appeared to be a right base entry for a landing on runway 20. The airplane continued the turn, past 270 degrees, and as it flew beyond the end of the runway, the engine appeared to regain power and the airplane began a climb.
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.
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.
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.
A de Havilland DHC-6 and a Beech King Air 90 were to make a formation air drop of skydivers from 14,000 feet msl. The de Havilland was to be the lead aircraft with the King Air in trail. As the skydivers prepared to exit, the King Air was traveling faster than the de Havilland, and the pilot of the King Air had to pitch up and bank right to avoid the de Havilland.
C-208 Caravan Fatal (1) Nagambie, Australia April 29, 2001
Cessna 206 Fatal (7) Higuerote, Venezuala February 24, 2001
The pilot and eight parachutists were returning from a skydive meet. The pilot had obtained a weather briefing, which advised of instrument meteorological conditions at the destination, and filed a VFR flight plan, but it was never activated. Witnesses heard, but could not see, a twin engine turboprop pass over the airport, heading north out over the Great Salt Lake. They described the weather conditions as being a low ceiling with 1/4-mile visibility,
The flight had proceeded without incident until a visual approach was made to the destination airport, but a landing was not completed because of poor visibility due to ground fog. The pilot then requested vectors to another airport, and was advised by ATC that he was below radar coverage, and he could not be radar identified. The pilot stated he would proceed to a third airport;
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 impacted the terrain approximately 2,065 feet south of the departure end of runway 22. Damage to the cockpit section of the wreckage indicated a nose down crush angle of approximately 80 degrees. The wreckage path was on a 208 degree heading, and the distance from the initial impact to the location of the empennage was about 142 feet. The cockpit and cabin were destroyed by post impact fire.