NTSB: ‘Aggressive takeoff maneuver’ the probable cause of 2019 Mokuleia crash that killed 11 on parachute jump flight

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The NTSB has issued its report on the cause of a June 21, 2019 crash that killed 11 passengers and pilot in Mokuleia. The report cited “inadequate flight training, poorly maintained airplane, insufficient oversight” as contributing factors to the accident.

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The twin engine Beech King Air 65-A90 airplane crashed shortly after takeoff. The NTSB said that:

…the probable cause of the accident was the pilot’s aggressive takeoff maneuver, which led to an accelerated stall and a subsequent loss of control at an altitude too low for recovery.”

The parachute jump airplane was operated by Oahu Parachute Center at Dillingham Airfield. The report states that the pilot received substandard training by the flight instructor and not enough training on the Beech King Air 65-A90. These deficiencies contributed to the accident.

In 2016, the airplane was involved in a “stall/spin” during a parachute jump flight in California, operated by another company. No injuries were involved in that accident but the left wing was twisted during that incident. Upon investigating the 2019 crash in Mokuleia, NTSB found that the left wing had never been repaired, which left “the airplane in an unairworthy condition.” This damage did not allow the airplane to perform properly thereafter–another contributor to the crash, according to the NTSB.

On Feb. 26, representatives for five of the plane crash victims filed a lawsuit on behalf of passenger parachutist Nikolas Glebov, tandem parachute instructor Daniel Herndon, cameramen Casey Williamson, and “fun jumpers” Joshua Drablos and Jordan Tehero. Among the complaints: Oahu Parachute Center breached its duty of care through negligent acts by operating the plane in a reckless and unsafe manner, failing to maintain that the plane was in airworthy condition, failing to properly train pilots and mechanics of the plane, and other reasons.

Those who died in the crash included ten men and one woman. According to the medical examiner, the cause of death for all the victims was multiple blunt force injuries due to the plane crash.

To view the accident summary, visit the NTSB website.

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