NTSB Identification: IAD97FA117.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 06, 1997 in SMITHFIELD, RI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/08/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 182E, registration: N3286Y
Injuries: 5 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

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. According to witnesses and a video taken of the airplane, the pilot and five skydivers boarded the airplane and departed. The airplane reached about 300 feet agl when the engine lost power. The witnesses reported that the airplane pitched up in a nose high attitude, rolled left, and descended until ground impact about 90 degrees off runway heading. The airplane came to rest in an upright position, against the initial trees of a wooded area. The propeller was found under the right wing. One blade was bent aft 90 degrees with lengthwise scratching. The engine was test run, and no mechanical malfunction were found.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

A loss of engine power for undetermined reason, and the pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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