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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 133637
Last updated: 15 October 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C180 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 180
Owner/operator:Beaver Valley Skydivers
Registration: N1802C
MSN: 32153
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Freedom, PA -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:6G2
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB

On May 26, 1997, at 1542 eastern daylight time, N1802C, a Cessna 180 airplane operated by Beaver Valley Skydivers was destroyed when it collided with terrain after takeoff from Kindelberger Landing Strip Airport, Freedom, Pennsylvania. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The pilot and three parachutist received minor injuries; one parachutist was seriously injured. The local parachuting flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In an interview with the NTSB, the pilot reported he stayed in the grass on the right side of the strip for the takeoff roll and avoided the muddy areas in the center. During the takeoff climb to the east from the grass strip, the airplane encountered a crosswind from the left and veered to the right over a fence and toward a telephone pole. He said:

"I felt a good crosswind give me a push to the right. I started to move over the fence. I tried to work it back, then I saw the telephone pole. I thought I could go over it. I was pulling up a little bit. The pole went out of my vision so I made a hard turn to the right to avoid the pole. That took it into a steep bank right. I felt the gear hit then the wing tip. ... drifting a little right and that breeze a little right, got me into trouble."

The pilot reported that he had flown five lifts of parachutists that day and that there "...was nothing wrong with the airplane."

In an interview with the NTSB, the airplane owner stated that he serviced the airplane with fuel just prior to the accident flight. He said the airplane departed with approximately 25 gallons of fuel in the right wing tank and 5 gallons in the left wing tank. The owner stated that he watched the airplane during taxi, takeoff roll and lift off. He said his attention was diverted momentarily and that he refocused on the airplane when people near him started yelling. He stated:

"...he was just over the pole. He was already turning and he just kept going on over. When he went out of sight the wings were straight up and down. Well...not quite a 90 degree bank."

When questioned about the sound of the engine, the owner responded:

"The engine sounded perfect, [sounded] even, all the way 'till it hit."

The airplane was configured with a single seat and a single set of flight controls at the pilot's station. Two parachutists sat on the floor of the airplane facing aft. One was seated next to the pilot and the other was seated behind the pilot. Two parachutists crouched or kneeled on the floor of the airplane facing forward. One was positioned aft of the copilot's station and the other was positioned in the rearmost area of the cabin. The three parachutists aft of the pilot's station were secured with a seat belt looped through a single point on their parachute harnesses. A seat belt was available for use by the parachutist at the copilot's station.

In a telephone interview, the parachutist seated on the floor at the copilots station stated that he could not remember if he was restrained. He reported that the pilot had difficulty maintaining directional control during the takeoff roll. He stated:

"...he was over controlling...he was all over the place. Rotation was early and excessive ...[the airplane] pitched up violently. A less than adequate first segment put the aircraft in close proximity to obstacles. Panic and error resulted in right turn towards more obstacles. He had the elevator buried in his stomach and right aileron in. I started yelling, 'Let it fly, let it fly ...'. From the runway to impact the stall warning horn was going off. The horn was going off and he's pulling back on the yoke. It was a takeoff/departure stall."

The parachutist at the copilot's station held a Commercial Pilot certificate with Single Engine Land and Instrument ratings.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight approximately 40 degrees, 30 minutes north latitude, and 80 degrees, 10 minutes west longitude.



NTSB id 20001208X07995

Revision history:

21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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