The NTSB wants to take
a closer look at the props and engines on a DeHavilland Twin Otter
that crashed about 70 miles southwest of St. Louis last week. That
crash killed the pilot and five skydivers going up for a jump. Two
other people, on board, were seriously hurt.
Of course, a probable cause ruling is still months
away, but the NTSB says it's decided to hang on to the engines
and props for further study. This, after a lone
witness, 41-year old Lisa Whitaker, told the Associated
Press she was sitting by her father's swimming pool near the
airport in Sullivan, Missouri, when she heard the Twin Otter
overhead. But, she says, the engine suddenly quit as the plane was
climbing above 150 feet or so AGL. It crashed a few yards away.
Pilot Scott Cowan was co-owner of the Quantum Leap Skydiving
Center was flying the Otter when it went down. The investigation
NTSB Identification: CHI06FA210
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 29, 2006 in Sullivan, MO
Aircraft: de Havilland DHC-6-100, registration: N203E
Injuries: 6 Fatal, 2 Serious.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may
contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when
the final report has been completed.
On July 29, 2006, about 1345 central day light time, a de
Havilland DHC-6-100, N203E, piloted by an airline transport pilot,
sustained substantial damage on impact with trees and terrain
during takeoff from runway 24 (4,500 feet by 75 feet, dry concrete)
at the Sullivan Regional Airport (KUUV), near Sullivan, Missouri.
Witnesses observed flame emitting from the right engine during the
takeoff. The skydiving flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the
accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot and five passengers
sustained fatal injuries. Two passengers sustained serious
injuries. The local flight was originating from KUUV at the time of
A witness on the road at the end of the takeoff runway, in part,
I was riding my bike on AF Highway approximately 1:30 or 1:45 pm
on the afternoon of July 29, 2006. I was at the end of the runway
and heard the sky diver plane, and as I always do, I stopped and
watched it take off. It was about 150 feet in the air and just
about at the end of the runway when all of a sudden, there was
(Poof) sound and the right engine was engulfed in fire. The plane
kept going and was turning to the right. It was not gaining any
altitude but staying about the same height, the right engine was
just barely turning at that time and then the trees blocked my
vision. ... I listened for about fifteen seconds and heard a
crunching sound and I looked for smoke but there was none.
Another witness, who was in her backyard pool area adjacent to
the accident site, stated that the airplane was low and flying
straight and level towards her. She said that the plane nosed over.
She and her father were the first on-scene and placed the 911 call.
She reported that local emergency medical service arrived within
The airplane impacted trees and terrain behind a residence and
came to rest vertically nose down against a tree about a half mile
north west of the end of runway 24. The empennage separated from
the fuselage and remained connected to the fuselage through the
control cables. The right wing was separated from the fuselage at
the wing root. The right flap was extended. The left wing was
separated from the fuselage at its rear spar. The left wing's
forward spar remained attached. The left wing's flap was retracted.
The outboard section of both wings exhibited rearward crushing. A
wooden pole that supported the electrical service to the residence
was found on the ground. The electrical wires from the pole were
found resting on the left wing. The airplane's nose and cabin were
crushed rearward. The left engine and propeller separated from its
wing and were found resting on the ground under the left wing
engine nacelle. The right engine separated from its wing. The right
engine's exhaust section separated. The forward exhaust section,
propeller gear box, and propeller were found about three feet west
of the right engine nacelle. The remainder of the right engine was
found about ten feet west of the right engine nacelle. The smell of
fuel was present at the site.
An on-scene investigation was conducted. Flight control cables
were traced from the flight controls in the cockpit to each flight
control surface. All breaks in cables were in overload. Flight
control continuity was established. Engine control cables were
traced from the cockpit engine controls to each engine. All breaks
were in overload. Engine control continuity was established. The
forward fuel cell was torn. Fuel was found in forward and aft fuel
cells. The engine and propellers are being retained for further
At 1253, the recorded weather at the Rolla National Airport,
near Rolla, Missouri, was: Wind 290 degrees at 9 knots; visibility
10 statute miles; sky condition few clouds 5,000 feet; temperature
35 degrees C; dew point 20 degrees C; altimeter 30.04 inches of