On June 29, 2019, about 0910 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N80JF, was substantially damaged while landing at Blackwater Creek Ultralight Flightpark (9FD2), Plant City, Florida. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to ISR Aviation LLC and operated as Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 skydiving flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The local flight originated about 0900.
The commercial pilot reported that he had been conducting skydiving support flights on the day of the
accident. Before his first flight, the airplane had about 23 gallons of fuel onboard. He flew the airplane
for about 4.0 hours and then added about 18 gallons of fuel to the airplane. He flew three more local
flights and then made a second fuel stop and added 14 gallons of fuel to the airplane. The pilot did not
conduct fuel consumption checks to estimate the engine’s fuel consumption rate nor did he check the
total fuel quantity in the tanks after the first and second refuelings. After making two more local flights
and while on final approach to the airport, the engine lost total power, and the pilot conducted a forced
landing to a residential area, during which the right elevator and right wing sustained substantial
The airplane was at 1,250 ft above ground level carrying a load of skydivers. According to a
skydiving instructor onboard the airplane, the jumpmaster leaned forward to assist a skydiver
in exiting the airplane when the jumpmaster’s reserve parachute inadvertently deployed and
entered the airplane’s slipstream. The jumpmaster attempted to pull the parachute back into
the airplane but was pulled into the door frame and dragged out of the airplane. The
jumpmaster, who appeared to be unconscious, descended to the ground beneath his streaming
(unopened) reserve parachute without deploying his main parachute. The pilot maintained
control of the airplane and landed safely. Examination of the jumpmaster’s reserve parachute
revealed that it was damaged by impact with the door frame, thus it did not deploy properly. It
is likely that the jumpmaster failed to guard his reserve parachute ripcord, which was exposed
on the front of his parachute, and the ripcord snagged on something as he attempted to assist
the exiting skydiver, which caused the reserve parachute to deploy prematurely.
The pilot stated that he was conducting a skydiver “jump run”, and prior to letting the skydivers out the
radio squelch interrupter failed causing a constant static noise. After letting the skydivers out over the
airport the pilot set up the descent based on the winds acquired for the previous landing on runway 22.
As he circled for landing the manifold pressure indication “dropped off” to zero. The pilot was unsure if
he had a partial power loss or a gauge failure. He could not hear or feel the engine indications because of
the static noise on the radio squelch and descent profile, so he committed to a power off glide path for
his approach. The pilot stated that the airplanes approach speed was about 100 knots prior to the
threshold for landing. The airplane touched down beyond the threshold and as the pilot applied full
braking the airplane “ballooned” back into the air. The pilot attempted to stop the airplane but was
unsuccessful and exited the runway, coming to rest after colliding with a ditch.
A de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter airplane, N30EA, collided with another Twin Otter airplane, N70EA,
on the runway. The pilot of N30EA reported that, once she started the engines, the airplane rolled
forward and to the left 180 degrees because the steering-tiller had been positioned sharply to the left
when the airplane was last parked. The pilot stated that, when she applied the brakes, there was no
response, and the airplane subsequently collided with the right wing of N70EA. The pilot of N30EA
reported that, after the collision, she noted that the hydraulic circuit breaker was open; this would have
resulted in insufficient hydraulic pressure to control the parking or pedal brakes. The pilot of N30EA
said that she should have noticed that the hydraulic circuit breaker was open before she started the
engines because it was part of the Before Starting Engines checklist.
The pilot said that he normally flew the airplane with the fuel selector positioned to the right
main fuel tank during skydiving operations. However, on the day of the accident, maintenance
was performed on the airplane, and three engine run-ups were performed using the left main
fuel tank. The pilot ferried the airplane back to its home base uneventfully with the left main
fuel tank selected. Before the accident flight, the pilot verified that there was adequate fuel in
the right main fuel tank; however, he did not reposition the fuel selector to the right main fuel
tank. During climb, about 800 feet above ground level, the airplane experienced a total loss of
engine power. The pilot was unable to restart the engine and performed a forced landing.
Subsequent examination revealed that the airplane’s right main fuel tank had been
compromised and was leaking fuel, whereas the left main fuel tank was intact and devoid of
fuel. Additionally, data downloaded from the airplane’s engine monitor revealed that the
engine power loss was preceded by a loss of fuel flow. Postaccident examination did not reveal
any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal
The flight was at 13,500 feet overhead the airport, preparing for the skydivers to jump. The pilot turned on the green light to initiate the jump. He then felt the aircraft shudder, but did not lose control of the airplane. After most of the jumpers had left the airplane, one of the skydivers came forward and notified the pilot of damage to the tail.
The pilot was landing the twin-engine, turboprop airplane on a 3,000-foot-long, 70-foot-wide, asphalt runway, when he encountered a high sink rate. He applied engine power; however, the engines did not respond quickly enough to prevent a hard landing. During the hard landing, the main landing gear separated and the left landing gear struck the vertical stabilizer. The pilot subsequently performed a go-around and landed on a grass runway, without further incident. The pilot stated that he did not experience any mechanical malfunctions. He reported 5000 hours of total flight experience, which included 500 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane.
The pilot reported that shortly after reaching an altitude of 400 feet agl after takeoff, the engine quit suddenly. He immediately pumped the throttle two times, and turned on the auxiliary fuel pump, but this did not restore engine power. He made a hard forced landing in an industrial park near the airport.
The airline transport certificated pilot with 10 skydiving passengers began a takeoff in a tailwheel-equipped and turboprop powered airplane on a CFR Part 91 skydiving flight. As the airplane started its climb, the pitch angle of the nose of the airplane increased until the airplane appeared to stall about 50 to 100 feet agl. It descended and impacted the runway in a left wing, nose low attitude.
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 pilot stated that while the first parachutist was climbing out on the airplanes strut, her pilot chute got caught on a safety belt resulting in the inadvertent deployment of her main parachute, which streamed back over the right horizontal stabilizer. The parachutist went under as the main parachute went over the top of the stabilizer.
After takeoff the pilot raised the landing gear and then had to take evasive action to the right to avoid a flock of birds. As he performed the evasive maneuver, he raised the flaps. The aircraft was slow, and he kept the nose down to build up speed for the climb. Just as he was to commence the climb, he caught a glimpse of a wire ahead. He pulled up rapidly, but contacted the wire with the right wing.