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» Smilin' Jack   » Specific Airline Discussions   » TWA   » NTSB prelim. re: Steve Parella's accident

Author Topic: NTSB prelim. re: Steve Parella's accident
Junior Poster
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NTSB's Twin Otter Accident Investigation Focuses on Propulsion

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 continues.

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

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 the accident.

A witness on the road at the end of the takeoff runway, in part, stated:

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 minutes.

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 examination.

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 mercury.


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IA Farm Boy
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"Pilot Scott Cowan was co-owner of the Quantum Leap Skydiving Center was flying the Otter when it went down."

He was also a FO for American Eagle.

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dave carr
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I have recently been told that the woman that survived actually jumped from the aircraft prior to impact. According to the story I was told, she and her instructor exited the aircraft and her chute supposedly deployed just prior to impact thus preventing more serious injury. In this scenario her instructor would obviously not have been so fortunate. Has anybody else heard this account?

Dave Carr

[ 08-09-2006, 20:43: Message edited by: dave carr ]

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