"Aircraft collided with terrain after takeoff," says NTSB in preliminary skydiving plane crash report
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a preliminary report on the skydiving plane crash June 21 on O'ahu.
The NTSB says the aircraft collided with terrain after takeoff from Dillingham Airfield in Mokuleia.
"The airplane was owned by N80896 LLC, and was being operated by Oahu Parachute Center (OPC) under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local sky-diving flight," the report stated.
OPC says it was the fourth of five flights scheduled for that day as a 'sunset' flight.
Those on board included the pilot, three tandem parachute instructors and their customers, and two camera operators. Two solo jumpers were said to have joined the flight last minute.
"A parachute instructor at OPC observed the boarding process and watched as the airplane taxied west to the departure end of runway 8," the report read. "When the airplane came into his view as it headed toward him, it was at an altitude of between 150 and 200 ft above ground level and appeared to be turning."
The instructor then observed the belly of the plane with the top of the cabin facing north toward the ocean, then it struck the ground in a 'nose-down attitude' and burst into flames.
Surveillance video captured the accident at the southeast corner of the airport -- where preliminary review showed the plane was in fact in an inverted 45 degree nose-down attitude.
Runway 8 at Dillingham Airfield is a 9,007 foot long by 75 foot wide runway. A parachute landing area was beyond the departure of runway 8, and by standard procedure, takeoffs require a left turn over the beach to avoid that landing zone.
The report went on to say, "The airplane came to rest inverted on a heading of about 011° magnetic, 500 ft north of the runway centerline, and 5,550 ft beyond the runway 8 numbers, where the takeoff roll began."
The inboard wings, cabin, and tail section were largely consumed by fire.
"Both engines came to rest in the center of the debris field, and fragments of the vertical and both horizontal stabilizers were located within the surrounding area," the report said.