Crash of Skydive Quantum Leap de Havilland DHC-6-100, N203E

Sullivan, Missouri
July 29, 2006

NTSB Number: AAR-08-03
NTIS Number: PB2008-910403
Adopted September 16, 2008
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Executive Summary

On July 29, 2006, about 1345 central daylight time, a de Havilland DHC-6-100, N203E, registered to Adventure Aviation, LLC, and operated by Skydive Quantum Leap as a local parachute operation flight, crashed into trees and terrain after takeoff from Sullivan Regional Airport, near Sullivan, Missouri. The pilot and five parachutists were killed, and two parachutists were seriously injured. The flight was operated under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. Witnesses at the airport reported (and photographic evidence showed) that, shortly after the airplane lifted off from the runway, flames emitted from the airplane's right engine. Witnesses reported that the airplane continued to fly low above the treetops before turning right and diving nose first into the ground.

The safety issues discussed in this report relate to the inadequate protection provided by single-point restraints for parachutists. Two safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration and two to the United States Parachute Association are included.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed following a loss of power in the right engine due to the fracturing of compressor turbine blades for undetermined reasons. Contributing to some parachutists' injuries was the lack of a more effective restraint system on the airplane.

Recommendations

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends that the Federal Aviation Administration:

Conduct research, in conjunction with the United States Parachute Association, to determine the most effective dual-point restraint systems for parachutists that reflects the various aircraft and seating configurations used in parachute operations. (A-08-71)

Once the most effective dual-point restraint systems for parachutists are determined, as requested in Safety Recommendation A-08-71, revise Advisory Circular 105-2C, Sport Parachute Jumping, to include guidance information about these systems. (A-08-72)

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends that the United States Parachute Association:

Work with the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct research to determine the most effective dual-point restraint systems for parachutists that reflects the various aircraft and seating configurations used in parachute operations. (A-08-73)

Once the most effective dual-point restraint systems for parachutists are determined, as requested in Safety Recommendation A-08-71, educate your members on the findings and encourage them to use the most effective dual-point restraint systems. (A-08-74)