On September 29, 2002, about 1600 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N9347B, was not damaged while stopped on the ramp at the North Central State Airport (SFZ), Pawtucket, Rhode Island, when a parachutist contacted the propeller. The certificated airline transport pilot was not injured; however, the parachutist sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the parachuting flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During an interview, the pilot said he landed after conducting his tenth parachute drop flight of the day, and while taxing back to the ramp, he stopped to ensure that all the parachutists had landed. The pilot did not observe any further canopies, and taxied back to the ramp. The airplane was parked on the ramp, with the engine running, while the next group of parachutists were boarding the airplane. The pilot then heard screams and observed a canopy enter the propeller. The pilot immediately shut down the engine.
Witnesses reported observing the parachutist descending toward the airplane without altering her course. One witness reported he "tackled" the parachutist to the ground; however, the parachute became entangled in the airplane's propeller and subsequently dragged the parachutist into the propeller.
The parachutist had completed an estimated 18 prior jumps, which included 4 jumps at SFZ. The pilot estimated that the normal parachutist landing zone was between 50 to 300 feet from the ramp area.
Winds reported at the airport, about the time of the accident were calm.