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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA17LA018
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 14, 2016 in Dunnellon, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/16/2018
Aircraft: CESSNA 208, registration: N208KM
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 10 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 airplane was at 1,250 ft above ground level carrying a load of skydivers. According to a skydiving instructor onboard the airplane, the jumpmaster leaned forward to assist a skydiver in exiting the airplane when the jumpmaster's reserve parachute inadvertently deployed and entered the airplane's slipstream. The jumpmaster attempted to pull the parachute back into the airplane but was pulled into the door frame and dragged out of the airplane. The jumpmaster, who appeared to be unconscious, descended to the ground beneath his streaming (unopened) reserve parachute without deploying his main parachute. The pilot maintained control of the airplane and landed safely. Examination of the jumpmaster's reserve parachute revealed that it was damaged by impact with the door frame, thus it did not deploy properly. It is likely that the jumpmaster failed to guard his reserve parachute ripcord, which was exposed on the front of his parachute, and the ripcord snagged on something as he attempted to assist the exiting skydiver, which caused the reserve parachute to deploy prematurely.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The jumpmaster's failure to guard the reserve parachute ripcord, which caused an inadvertent deployment of his reserve parachute.