C206 down; 2 skydivers killed (Sat 19 APR 08)


#1

Aero-News Network Story

Details Uncertain As To Cause – Four Jumpers Bailed, Pilot Severely Injured

A late Saturday afternoon flight in a FreeFall Express Skydiving Cessna 206 has resulted in 2 deaths after the aircraft went down shortly after takeoff, in Mt. Vernon, MO.

According to local reports, the aircraft carried a load of seven people but the operator claims that the load was within the operational capabilities of the aircraft… The pilot stayed with the aircraft and is alive but seriously injured while four skydivers successfully exited the aircraft with no significant injuries. A fifth jumper was found at the crash scene with her chute wrapped over the horizontal stabilizer while a sixth was found in the aircraft, deceased.

The only real information to be had at this point comes from local media sources… who seem to be a mite confused over whether the aircraft stalled or the engine “stalled” in the reports thus far published. Pictures from the impact site show the aircraft impacted nearly vertically amongst a stand of trees but that the aft part of the cabin/fuselage is surprisingly intact. Still, what little seems to be known with any certainty is that the aircraft had departed from the field used by the Drop Zone and the impact area is listed as some two miles from the Mt. Vernon Airport.

ANN E-I-C Note: Late Sunday reports from local media have added some details, though they have yet to be confirmed by official sources with the FAA or NTSB. Those reports indicate that the aircraft reached 10,000 feet when it experienced some form of loss of control.

Confirmed as deceased in this accident are Marnie Fuller (36) and Jennifer Collins (32), both of whom were listed as P/T staffers for Freefall Express, each with several hundred jumps to their credit.

The pilot, 32 year-old Jason Rog, was listed in critical condition throughout Saturday but prognosis has improved and his condition has been upgraded to serious. ANN extends its condolences and prayers to all those at FreeFall Express… which we know to be a safety-conscious DZ.
FMI: www.freefallexpress.com


#2

Springfield (MO) News-Leader article and photos.

:cry:

Edit: Couldn’t link to photos. PAG


#3

FAA Preliminary Report

You can tell the nice weather is back, there are 40 aircraft accidents/incidents reports filed today; FAA Preliminary Reports for past weekend

Jennifer Collins 32, was a nurse at Children’s Mercy South in Overland Park, and a paramedic and firefighter for the West Peculiar Fire Department. It was her chute that was caught on the tail, and dragged her down with the aircraft.


#4

Wow! Of the 40 incidents, only three of them caused a total of four fatalities. That surprizes me.

I wonder if it was her chute getting snagged that caused the problem with the aircraft to begin with.


#5

If you look at the photos of the crash on the News-Leader site, there is apparent damage to the inboard leading edge of the right horizontal stabilizer. Maybe the skydiver hit the empennage after leaving the plane, then the reserve chute got snagged on the vertical stab. Bad deal, that’s for sure…


#6

:open_mouth:

the pilot remains in critical condition

:open_mouth:


#7



#8

I hate when they show somebody standing at the scene laughing or smiling like that guy on the left. The wreckage isn’t that bad and and if the pilot survived, I can believe the entanglement happened secondary to another problem. The plane should have been flyable, the control surfaces don’t deflect that much to cause response.

PS I’d run from that cop.


#9

The expression on the guy bothered me too, but I decided I’d give him the benefit of the doubt and just suppose that he’s grimacing. The photo does show the condition to good effect, though.

If the jumper was still tethered to the airplane, I would think the craft would be pretty much uncontrollable. The plane was at the jump altitude, and all but one jumper left the plane. The sixth jumper may have either been trapped by dynamic forces inside the tumbling craft, or possibly been trying to help the pilot regain control. If her friend was indeed tangled up on the control surfaces, she may have been trying to communicate with that jumper. Very sad event.

I understand from one of the articles that the pilot was conscious and talking to rescue workers prior to being taken to hospital from the scene. I can’t imagine…


#10

I took that photo and enlarged it. He is not laughing or smiling or even grimacing. Its his mustache and his facial structure that gives those appearances. Don’t be quite so quick to judge.


#11

Reporting aircraft stalled at 10,500 feet.

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board provides new details about a fatal plane crash near Mount Vernon last month.

NTSB interviews with parachutists who escaped from the plane indicate the single-engine Cessna P206 stalled at about 10,500 feet and then went into a spin as parachutists aboard tried to get out of the plane.

The April 19 crash involved a plane operated by Freefall Express Skydiving Inc. The plane crashed into trees and was destroyed.

Marnie Fuller, 36, of Walnut Grove, and Jennifer Collins, 32, of Peculiar, died in the crash. The two were Freefall Express staff members.

NTSB investigator Arnold Scott said he still hopes to interview pilot Jason Rog, 32, who survived but was critically injured in the crash.

“His doctors don’t want us to interview him yet,” Scott said. “He’s still recovering.”

Scott said a review of the plane’s engine monitors and flight control systems showed both were functioning normally as the plane went down.

Four parachutists managed to leap from the plane during the spin.

A fifth person’s reserve parachute somehow deployed and wrapped around the plane’s tail.

Asked whether the reserve parachute opened inside the aircraft during the spin, Scott said “we’re still looking into that.”

The pilot apparently struggled to keep the plane airborne, despite the parachute tangled in the aircraft’s tail.

“Witnesses on the ground saw the plane recover momentarily at a low altitude then it went into a dive,” Scott said.

The NTSB preliminary report contains this narrative from investigators.

“According to two of the surviving parachutists, the airplane had climbed to 10,500 feet msl (mean seal level), and the pilot signaled for one of the parachutists to open the door,” the report stated.

"When she did, she noticed that the airplane had overshot the drop zone by approximately 1 mile, and she informed the pilot. She said as he started to make a right turn, the stall warning horn sounded, and the airplane ‘rolled off on its right wing’ and entered a spin. Three parachutists exited the airplane and parachuted to safety. A fourth parachutist broke her right leg as she exited the airplane, but she parachuted to safety.

“The reserve parachute on the fifth parachutist deployed and became entangled around the tail of the airplane. She sustained fatal injuries. The sixth parachutist was found inside the airplane and was fatally injured. The pilot was flown to a Springfield hospital.”

Scott said the NTSB is still working on a final report to determine the official cause of the crash. That process could take several months, he said.


#12

It sounds like the horiz stab damage was from the jumper with the broken leg, not the one whose chute was tangled on the tail. Very bad deal altogether.