NTSB Identification: FTW01LA132.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Sunday, May 27, 2001 in Fentress, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2002
Aircraft: de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter, registration: N125PM
Injuries: 1 Fatal,22 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

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. At that time, the pilot of the King Air lost sight of the de Havilland. A video tape taken by one of the skydivers showed that at the time the skydivers exited, the King Air was above, right, and ahead of the de Havilland. One of the King Air skydivers contacted the right propeller of the de Havilland. Other skydivers then saw this skydiver spinning out of control. One of these skydivers caught the injured skydiver and pulled the reserve handle; however, the reserve parachute did not fully inflate "due to being cut by the propeller." The injured skydiver fell to the ground. Both airplanes landed without further incident. The operator reported that this was the first formation air drop flight for either pilot in a multi-engine aircraft.

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

the King Air pilot's inadequate in-flight planning/decision in that he failed to remain in the agreed on formation position, resulting in one of his skydiver's contacting the propeller of the de Havilland airplane. A contributing factor was the lack of total experience of both pilots in multiengine formation air drop flights.

Full narrative available

Index for May2001 | Index of months