The pilot reported that he departed for a parachute jump flight with 12 gallons of fuel onboard. He added that, after the parachute jumpers exited the airplane about 10,500 ft mean sea level (msl), he initiated a left spiraling descent back to the airport. He further added that he “heard and felt the engine start [to] quiet down as if it was shutting down.” He then began to make right descending turns and verified that the fuel selector was in the “both” position. He added that the cylinder head temperature was decreasing, so he switched back to left descending turns and that the “fuel starvation due to banking happened two more times.”
The pilot of the twin-engine, turbine powered airplane reported that while providing flights for skydivers throughout the day, he had a potential new hire pilot flying with him in the right seat. He added that on the eighth flight of the day, the new pilot was flying during the approach and “approximately 200′ [ft.] south from the threshold of [runway] 15 at approximately 15 feet AGL [above ground level] the bottom violently and unexpectedly dropped out.
On July 23, 2016, about 1900 Pacific daylight time, a Beech 65- A90, N256TA, sustained substantial damage following a reported loss of control while climbing out near the Byron Airport (C83) Byron, California. The airplane was registered to N80896 LLC, and operated by Bay Area Skydiving under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot and the 14 passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the skydiving flight. The local flight departed C83 at about 1845.
On May 12, 2016, about 1413 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N1114A, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Acampo, California. The airplane was registered to Flanagan Enterprises (Nevada) INC., and operated by the Parachute Center under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries and his 17 passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the skydiving flight. The local flight originated about 1 minute prior to the accident.
The pilot said that, while on short final, the airplane experienced a sudden sink rate when the wind changed from a head wind to calm conditions. He was unable to arrest the sink rate even after power was applied because of the lag time for the airplane’s turbine engine to spool up.
The pilot stated that he departed the airport for the 15-minute skydiving flight with about 20 gallons of fuel onboard. After completing a jump run, he was returning to the airport and maneuvered the airplane on final approach. When the airplane was about 3 miles from the runway and about 1,200 feet above ground level, the engine experienced a partial loss of power.
A skydiver jumped up and out of the airplane instead of dropping out of the exit and keeping a low trajectory. He then impacted the horizontal stabilizer and fell away from the leading edge. The skydiver’s automatic deployment system activated and opened the parachute.
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.
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.
After discharging three parachutists into a drop zone from about 12,000 feet mean sea level, the pilot attempted to return to the departure airport. The engine began surging as the airplane descended through 8,000 feet. The pilot continued the descent and entered the departure airport’s traffic pattern. He misjudged his distance from the runway, and when all engine power was lost turning onto the final approach leg he was unable to glide to the runway.