NTSB Identification: MIA05LA096.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 23, 2005 in Deland, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2007
Aircraft: de Havilland DHC-6, registration: N24HV
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
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. He saw a tandem jumper toward the southwest and believed he had accounted for all jumpers. As he turned left, he saw a flash of colors, felt an impact and drag from the left wing. He got the airplane on the ground as soon as possible. Radar data indicated that the airplane was about 1,300 feet msl when it was approaching runway 5/23 from the northeast. The airplane flew over runway 23, near mid field, about 1,100 feet msl and was between 900 to 800 feet msl during the left bank entering the downwind for runway 23; last capture was at 300 feet as it approached runway 23. One jumper stated the parachute landing zone was located on the airport adjacent to the left side of runway 30. The video equipment that was carried by the cinematographer captured the collision. The cinematographer jumps with the last tandem jumpers. The tandem chute deploys at 3 minutes and 7 seconds into the video, 13 seconds later the cinematographer's chute deploys. During his descent, he removes the helmet-mounted camera and looks into the view making a few remarks about the jump. He places the camera back to its original position and continues to capture; the sky is overcast and visibility is good. The view pans to the right and captures three skydivers with chutes deployed at an altitude above him. At approximately 4 minutes and 54 seconds into the video, a sound similar to an airplane engine can be heard at an increasing level for 5 seconds. At 4 minutes and 59 seconds, the view pans slightly left and a sound similar to an impact is heard. The view becomes blurry and pans rapidly. At 5 minutes and 2 seconds, three frames capture what appears to be an aircraft in close proximity banking away and to the right of the camera's view. The view continues to pan rapidly for about 6 seconds showing shots of the ground, sky, and parachute. The camera stabilizes and records until impact with the ground at 5 minutes and 46 seconds. One of the master tandem jumpers on that jump stated that the pilot did not give a briefing on which runway or approach he was going to use. The norm is for the jumpers to avoid crossing runways below 1,000 feet and to stay away about 300 feet from the runways, and the pilot to avoid jumpers at all time. Due to the amount of jumps that are performed per day there is no briefing before each flight. Approaches and runway selection depends on the individual pilot. A representative of the operator stated that only verbal guidance is given to the pilots to follow the FAA rules and it up to their discretion for approaches and runway selection. The acting airport manager stated that there is no agreement for airport operations between the skydive operator and the city, only the lease agreement. The city did develop a voluntary noise abatement procedure outlining areas to avoid. The several pilots at the airport stated that for several years they communicated with the city regarding safety concerns with approaches and runway selection by the skydive operator. They stated the city did not correct the situation.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate visual lookout. Full narrative available
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