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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: SEA02LA184
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 28, 2002 in Estacada, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/08/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 182, registration: N5337B
Injuries: 5 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.

While the aircraft was level at 10,500 feet above sea level (MSL), four skydivers took their positions on the right exterior jump-step of the aircraft. Just after the last jumper was on the step, the parachute of one of the jumpers inadvertently deployed and streamed back into the aircraft's tail surfaces. Soon thereafter, the subject jumper separated himself from the deployed parachute, jumped from the aircraft, and opened his reserve chute. At about the same time, the other three jumpers also departed the aircraft. Although the pilot attempted to control the aircraft, he found that with the parachute wrapped around the tail surfaces, the rudder and elevator did not respond to his control inputs. He therefore applied a small amount of right rudder in an attempt to separate the parachute from the aircraft, but the airplane responded by pitching nose down and entering what appeared to the pilot to be an inverted spin. At that point, the pilot also jumped from the aircraft and successfully opened his parachute, and the aircraft continued to spin inverted until it impacted the terrain.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The entanglement of an inadvertently opened skydiver's parachute in the aircraft’s elevator and rudder just after a group of four skydivers positioned themselves on the aircraft's external jump platform prior to a jump.