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Accident description
Last updated: 24 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Friday 17 April 1981
Time:16:01
Type:Handley Page HP-137 Jetstream III
Operator:Air US
Registration: N11360
C/n / msn: 238
First flight: 1969
Total airframe hrs:3795
Cycles:3791
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-U-303V
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Total:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 13
Collision casualties:Fatalities: 2
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:3 km (1.9 mls) ESE of Fort Collins/Loveland Municipal Airport, CO (FNL) (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Denver-Stapleton International Airport, CO (DEN/KDEN), United States of America
Destination airport:Gillette-Campbell County Airport, WY (GCC/KGCC), United States of America
Flightnumber: 716
Narrative:
Air US Flight 716 departed Denver-Stapleton, CO at 15:46 for a flight to Gillette, WY. At 15:59 Flight 716 contacted Denver Center to request to maintain FL130, which was approved. In the same area a Cessna TU206 (N4862F, operated by Sky's West Parachute Center) was climbing in a racetrack pattern over Fort Collins/Loveland Municipal Airport to an altitude of FL155. The Cessna had departed this airport at 15:30 for the second parachute jump flight of the day.
The Cessna was in a climbing left turn on a north-westerly heading when it was hit by the Air US Jetstream. The No. 1 propeller of the Jetstream cut through the aft fuselage section of the Cessna resulting in immediate loss of control to both aircraft. Two of the skydivers were killed inside the aircraft during the collision. The pilot and three parachutists fell free of the aircraft and parachuted to the ground. The remains of the Cessna descended out of control and crashed in an open field. The Jetstream impacted the ground in a nearly vertical pitch attitude in an open field about 4,000 feet northeast of the Cessna wreckage.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the Cessna pilot to establish communications with the Denver Center and his climbing into controlled airspace above 12,500 feet without an authorised deviation from the altitude encoding transponder (Mode-C) requirement, the practice of the Denver Center of routinely condoning Sky's West parachute jump operations above 12,500 feet without a Mode-C transponder and the failure of the pilots of both aircraft to "see and avoid" each other. Contributing to the accident was the fact that existing regulations do not prohibit parachute jumping in, or immediately adjacent to, Federal airways."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 244 days (8 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-81-18
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Mid air collision
Loss of control

Sources:
» NTSB-AAR-81-18


Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 8 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Denver-Stapleton International Airport, CO to Gillette-Campbell County Airport, WY as the crow flies is 508 km (317 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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