Mon, Feb 11, 2008
Skydiving Plane Went Down South Of Kalispell, MT
In its updated Factual report on the
May 12, 2007 downing of a skydiving flight near Kalispell, MT, the
National Transportation Safety Board notes there were no apparent
structural or mechanical issues with the Cessna 182... but adds the
plane was over gross weight, and barely within the acceptable aft
The report does not state whether that condition resulted in the
crash, which killed all five persons onboard.
"It doesn't mean that they cannot fly if it's a few pounds
over," NTSB Regional Director Debra Eckrote told The Great Falls
Tribune. "It's just something that we note in the investigation.
The center of gravity is what is more important in the accident
sequence. In this particular case, he was still within the envelope
(and) he was just slightly over gross weight."
Investigators also found the engine's oil filler cap unattached,
though its unknown whether that condition was a result of the
As ANN reported, the pilot
and two tandem skydive teams were onboard the aircraft, which went
down shortly after takeoff from Carson Field Airstrip (MT53) in
Marion, MT. The plane was operated by Skydive Lost Prairie.
Witnesses told the NTSB the plane was attempting to return to the
runway, when the aircraft's left wing dipped and the plane impacted
Company owner Fred Sand told the Tribune he would wait to see
the Board's Probable Cause report to speculate on what led to the
"Because the probable cause hasn't been released, anything that
anybody says is still speculation," Sand said. "It's still
absolutely a mystery to me as to why this all happened."
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