CEN09LA525
CEN09LA525

On August 15, 2009, about 11380 central daylight time, the rotating propeller of a Cessna 182B, N2364G, struck a deplaning passenger at the Caddo Mills Municipal Airport (7F3), Caddo Mills, Texas. The airplane was registered to an individual and was operated by North Texas Skydiving Center LLC under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The passenger was seriously injured and the pilot, who was the only other person remaining on board, was not injured. The flight had originated from 7F3 and had been conducting multiple flights to drop sport parachutists.

According to the pilot, he had just landed after three parachutists had jumped from the airplane with one passenger remaining aboard. He stopped the airplane with its nose pointed toward a parked vehicle where the next group of parachutists was waiting to board. A ground crewmember arrived at the right cabin door and assisted the exit of the passenger while the engine and propeller were still operating. As the ground crewmember leaned in to speak to the pilot, the passenger went around the outboard side of the right wing strut and walked toward the group of persons waiting to board for the next flight.

The passenger provided a written statement that she was on-board this flight to observe a group of parachutists and that she intended to later that day go up with an instructor for her first tandem jump. After the three parachutists had jumped, the airplane landed on the runway and taxied back toward the place where the next group of parachutists was waiting. The passenger was sitting aft-facing on the forward right side cabin floor when the airplane came to a stop. A ground crewmember came to the open right cabin door, tapped the passenger’s foot, and told her she was “good to go.” As she was exiting the airplane, the ground crewmember leaned in to talk to the pilot. The passenger then exited the right door of the airplane and walked forward toward the waiting vehicle when she was struck by the operating propeller.

Several witnesses said the passenger did not appear to see the propeller as she slowly walked toward the parked vehicle.

Inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) examined the airplane and found damage to two of the propeller blades and damage to the parachute worn by the passenger at the time of the accident.

According to FAA Advisory Circular 91-42D "Hazards of Rotating Propeller and Helicopter Rotor Blade” A review of propeller accidents indicates that most were preventable. A propeller under power, even at slow idling speed, has sufficient force to inflict fatal injuries. On page 4 it cautions that the engine “should be shut down before boarding or deplaning passengers”...”when it is necessary to discharge a passenger from an aircraft on which an engine is running, never stop the aircraft with the propeller in the path of the passenger’s route from the aircraft.”

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