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General Aviation Safety
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 that, shortly after the airplane lifted off from the runway, flames emitted from the airplane’s right engine. The airplane continued to fly low above the treetops before turning right and diving nose first into the ground.
TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: 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.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Closed - Acceptable Action
SULLIVAN, MO, United States
Crash of Skydive Quantum Leap de Havilland DHC-6-100, N203E
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Jump Operations, Restraint Systems, Training and Education
Safety Recommendation History
The USPA previously informed the NTSB about the research on skydiver restraints it conducted jointly with the FAA at the FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, where biodynamic engineers analyzed the results of sled tests of restraints used in various aircraft configurations. We believe that the findings from this research and the guidance, including illustrations, that the FAA included in AC 105-2D, satisfy these recommendations. Accordingly, Safety Recommendations A-08-71 and -72 are classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION. The USPA summarized the information contained in AC 105-2D regarding the seats and restraint systems recommended for parachutists and included this information in multiple USPA publications. The articles include a link to the AC and encourage all operators and skydivers to follow best-practice guidance for the use of restraints in skydiving aircraft. As a result of the USPA’s actions, Safety Recommendations A-08-73 and -74 were classified “Closed—Acceptable Action” on October 19, 2011.
-From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), in coordination with the USPA, and other members of the sport parachuting community, have evaluated the effectiveness of restraint methods applicable to sport parachuting operations. The evaluation was based on existing research findings and field experience. This was limited to seat configurations found in the larger drop aircraft that carry the majority of parachutists. This evaluation resulted in observations concerning the relative effectiveness of the available restraint methods. Using the observations mentioned above, CAMI developed recommendations for revisions to Advisory Circular 105-2C, Sport Parachute Jumping. The recommended guidance provided the relative effectiveness of the restraint options applicable to each seating configuration. The dual point-dual tether restraint method was identified as the superior method available for aft facing occupants. The recommended guidance also included illustrations showing the most effective method for attaching restraints to the parachute harness. In addition, it included the most effective installation geometry for each restraint method. Although the seating and restraint methods available are limited by each aircraft's size and configuration, CAMI recommended that the revised advisory circular guidance provide jump aircraft operators the information they need to implement the most effective restraint configuration applicable to their aircraft. Based upon CAMI's recommendations, we published AC 105-2D, Sport Parachuting, on May 18, 2011 (enclosed). The updates in this AC include the following: • Suggested areas for pilot training and currency programs; • Suggested pilot testing programs; • Aircraft airworthiness; • Egress information for both pilots and parachutists; • Rigger record keeping guidance; • Seatbelt restraint information; and • Airport layout information. AC 105-2D also includes information on dual point restraint systems in Appendix 3, Seats and Restraint Systems. This appendix was developed according to research provided by the FAA's Office of Aerospace Medicine. I believe that the FAA has effectively addressed these safety recommendations, and I consider our actions complete.
Thank you for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) December 10, 2008, response to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Safety Recommendations A-08-71 and -72, stated below. These recommendations were issued to the FAA as a result of the NTSB investigation of a fatal accident that occurred on July 29, 2006, when 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 FAA indicated that the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), in coordination with the USPA, will perform an initial evaluation to determine the effectiveness of the current restraint methods and will use current research to improve upon these methods. The NTSB notes that the FAA will review the results of the evaluation and conduct additional research before developing the new restraint methods. The NTSB understands that the necessary revisions to AC 105-2C, Sport Parachute Jumping, cannot be made until the appropriate research has been conducted and the new restraint methods have been developed. Pending our review of research that supports an effective dual-point restraint system for parachutists, reflecting the various aircraft and seating configurations used in parachute operations, and the necessary revisions to AC 105-2C, to include guidance about these systems, Safety Recommendations A-08-71 and A-08-72 are classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.
Letter Mail Controlled 1/7/2009 3:13:44 PM MC# 2080762: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, in coordination with the United States Parachute Association, will investigate improved restraint methods for parachutists in recreational parachute operations. The initial effort will be to evaluate the effectiveness of the current methods and use available research results to develop improved methods for the applicable seating configurations. Based on this initial evaluation, the Federal Aviation Administration will determine what additional research is required to develop improved restraint methods for the remaining seating configurations. The results of that research will then be used to develop the new restraint methods needed. Revisions to Advisory Circular 105-2C, Sport Parachute Jumping, will be made, as necessary, pending the results of the research, evaluation, and development of new restraint methods.
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