NTSB Identification: LAX99FA220.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 19, 1999 in PASO ROBLES, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/15/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 182A, registration: N4824D
Injuries: 4 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 quickly became airborne and started an extremely steep climb for several hundred feet, which was followed by an equally steep descent until the airplane collided with terrain. The airplane had just completed one jump flight, and a different pilot fueled the airplane in preparation for the accident flight. The airplane was configured with one seat on the left side for the pilot and a 2-inch pad with seat belts for up to four skydivers. One skydiver was kneeling facing forward in the most aft position of the cabin, two were facing aft in the middle of the cabin, and one (the survivor) was leaning against a bulkhead in the front right position and facing aft. The survivor was secured by a lap belt and said the other jumpers were strapped in as well. His harness moved him away from the instrument panel, but his head was level with the pilot's thighs. The pilot did not do a run-up and taxied straight onto the runway for takeoff. After takeoff the survivor observed the pilot "furiously working" her right hand from liftoff to ground contact. She was reaching right but it was not determined whether she was rolling something or working her arm up and down. She maintained her normal sitting position and did not move forward or aft. One of the first rescuers noted the fatally injured pilot and the survivor were suspended by their seat belts as the airplane lay inverted; the other occupants were ejected from the airplane. The seat belt behind the pilot was dangling unbuckled when rescuers reached the airplane. When the Safety Board investigator arrived on scene, all of the belts were observed to be hanging vertically and unbuckled. Post accident investigation revealed no discrepancies with the airframe, engine, or seat belts. Both the before start and before takeoff check lists instructed the pilot to verify that the adjustable stabilizer control wheel was in the "takeoff range." The system's section noted control wheel forces would be very heavy if the stabilizer was not properly set.

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

the pilot's failure to set the trim as prescribed by the published check list. This led to a steep climb angle which caused the airspeed to decay, resulting in a stall at an altitude too low to allow recovery.

Full narrative available

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