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King Air Jump Plane Stall Captured by Skydiver

A Beechcraft C90 King Air stalled and entered a spin at 16,000' AGL while skydivers were preparing to jump. ( More...

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Chris Hann 41
The pilot's report was posted on Reddit with the video. The left engine was throttled back to reduce propwash so the jumpers wouldn't be blown off, the six jumpers created asymmetric drag to add to the asymmetric thrust, and masked airflow to the left elevator while the aircraft was slowed to allow them to jump. Their weight gave an aft CG that he could not overcome with the remaining control authority. When he hit the elevator stop he knew it was going to stall and spin. At that point the stall and spin was entered and the people departed. He pulled the right engine back to flight idle too, to cancel the asymmetric thrust, and performed a normal spin recovery. He pulled out gently to avoid over stressing the airframe. When he opened the throttles one engine recovered much sooner than the other, which caused the second unstable event and resulted in another skydiver leaving. The incident was reported to the CAA and the PASA (Parachute Association of South Africa). The club also had a meeting the next day and changed procedures for the King Air to only allow 5 simultaneous exits in the future and not to hang around on the outside longer than necessary. There have been no further similar events.
linbb 5
End result was a great show of how not to have it happen again since the first one ended because the pilot flew it till all was back in order like he should have.
Chris Hann 2
This isn't the first time this has happened and been captured on video either. I found another much older one from the UK as well as several versions of this one. One posted by the last man towards the tail gives his account too.
AAaviator 1
The front floater (or 2) created most of the parasitic drag. The other 4 were mostly in the drag “shade” of the front 2. The biggest problem was aft CG for too long. Pilot ran out of elevator authority. There appeared to be a secondary stall with nose up input appearing to be too much and too soon. With airspeed at nearly nil, nose vertical (down) is fine initially. I would have had both throttles at idle and eased the nose up with decent airspeed and recovered as if flying the bottom half of a split-S. Two to three G’s all the way through level is fine with that airframe - could probably handle more. Anyway, no one got hurt, so lesson learned.
tlfys1 12
This happened to me back in the 90s when a very experienced jump plane/owner brought his newest B90 to Norman Oklahoma for a weekend of fun. It was the first time he had operated this aircraft and was still trying to find the sweet spot for jump runs with 5 or 6 "floaters" hanging on the left side of the aircraft. Well that time he found it and stalled it right before we jumpers exited. My position in the line up was right in the door and when she broke I was pinned to the floor and had to claw my way out of the aircraft. So I can relate with the last guy getting out in this video... not a lot of fun when the Gs have you pinned to the floor and your seeing the world and sky zipping by the door. Good times!
Fred Mew 8
How many jumpsuits needed cleaning after that?
patrick baker 6
what contributed to the stall and spins was the dumb skydivers hanging on the the fusalage for an excessive time, contributing to low airspeed and a stall, which made a spin almost automatic. The spin recovery was quick once the airspeed came back- a few spin turns only, then a predictable recovery. I once had a 225 pound skydiver hand walk to the tip of the wing after departing through the door using the abrasive tape along the trailing edge. He got out to the wing tip and held on, and the aircraft starting descending to the side he was hanging on. He laughed at my predicament and i threw all the other jumpers out the door- unassing the now unstable aircraft. I could not maintain straight and level or hold a heading, and did a slow spiral down hill at about 8,000 feet. Not safe. Not funny John Hurhilhey, you fat bastard.
Chris Hann 5
Here's one of the other two I found on Youtube, there's less cloud and the recovery is quicket.
AAaviator 3
6 floaters outside of a king air? And for that long?! I wouldn’t have expected any other outcome! Pretty damn dumb, but AWESOME video!! 😎👍
bbabis 3
With all that drag on the left side and surely interfering with airflow over the horizontal and vertical tail the controls must be in a different position than anything normal at a very slow airspeed. Then either pilot input or skydiver movement caused a sudden increase in angle of attack and the principals of flight did their thing. The sudden weight, CG, and aerodynamic change as the stall broke probably didn't help things for the pilot but it worked out and all got to talk about it later. What I learned is that I have no desire to do that.
patrick baker 4
was a jump pilot at kendall gliderport near miami with hundred of jump flights, none of them exactly like that one: georgous sky, full load, maybe 6 or 7 jumpers, but that spin suggests the pilot got just a tad slow on jump run. THe pilot did get a fun spin out of this run, got to practice spin recovery when it really mattered, and then changed his underware out of necessity when he landed.
Randall Bursk 2
Nobody panicked. Bet they were back after review of procedures. Thanks Chris Hann for your comment.
Ray Toews 2
I was visiting a jump field near Valencia Spain some years ago. Watched the guy in the Pilatus jump plain consistently beat the jumpers to the ground. I talked to him and he put the prop into beta in the near vertical descent and flared at the last possible moment. Squeezed my rectum a few times and I was just watching.
Denis Coghlan 2
About 25 years ago an acquaintance stalled and spun his E90 while doing his conversion training. The CFI took control and recovered. The incident was reported to the DCA and Beech sent their people to Gaborone to investigate the incident as apparently this was the first known spin and recovery by a King Air!
btweston 3
Okay that was freaking crazy
skyjumpr 2
I have about 3000 jumps under my belt, half of them out of KA C90s; I also have a couple hundred hours flying jumpers in a 206.

I’ve never seen 6 jumpers attempt to float on a KA…mostly because the narrow door makes it impractical compared to a Twin Otter or Caravan. But anytime you plan to have an excess of floaters, or any large group exiting at once, it’s always a good idea to brief the jump pilot beforehand.

Good recovery by all involved here.

I had several hundred jumps out of N256TA, the accident aircraft in the 2019 fatal crash in Hawaii. Fortunately I left its previous DZ several months before the 2016 botched spin recovery that ripped the right horizontal stabilizer off and led to airframe rippling that was later determined to be a contributing factor to the 2019 fatal incident.
for 182 jump planes, just release the wheel brake and problem is solved ! ! !
linbb 1
What wheel brake? The landing gear wheel? Only one I know of on any 182 I flew.
usually held the right brake for the one of the outer persons (also had an extended wheel nut the outermost guy) to stand on, if they started to have a chat and the horz stab was starting to stall, just release the right brake the the person on the wheel would go flying, taking the rest with them ! ! !
harold smith 1
That’s not nice🤣🤣🤣
I’ve done that a couple times myself
bentwing60 1
The tricks of the trade sometimes make for good inside jokes!
no surprises, during preflight briefing everyone was told it would be done ! ! !
cos3asg 1
As a retired Airborne paratrooper with several hundred static line and freefall jumps, I can sort of see why these jumpers wanted to congregate outside the aircraft and discuss the cloud formations, but the jump brief really should have precluded it. We never had such throttling back maneuvering just to give us a slower airspeed for exit. You exit on the jumpmaster’s word of command and carry out the jump as per orders. Slightly different drill for relative work but closely coordinated nonetheless. I am glad to see that they modified their procedures following this incident. PK
ms06877 1
Still would rather fly the jump plane than jump out of it.
Dan Little 1
All ok?
Pecos Llama 1
How do you determine if excessive structural stress occurred on the airframe to such an extent that the airplane is no longer safe to fly?
linbb 2
For one thing look for any wrinkles in the skin did that on Cessna high wing AC if they hit a wing tip on something solid right at the tank area spar skin would show it.
david allan 1
Flew the C90 as a drop pilot in Florida and Georgia back in the 90's as well. The maneuver was a Vmca demo just waiting for the airplane to roll over on its back in the same manner. Left engine to idle, partial flaps, cg all out of whack and way aft, airflow over the horizontal stab partially blocked from a half dozen jumpers hanging out the door, everything shaking and the stall horn blaring. I still have the logbook somewhere of page after page of coveted turbine time with entries of .9,.9,.9,.9.

Even a normal drop was a blast, everyone out - split ess hanging in the straps, try not to come out of idle all the way to the grass, beat the last jumper to the ground all day long.

Twotter was good fun as well, open the window at 12.5 and stick your head out, you'll be awake no coffee needed on the first morning run.

Z hills, hotlanta, so many good times, happy to have survived.

patrick baker 1
jumped turkey chute at z-hills once out of dc-3's. They had maybe 10 dc-3's on the field for the weekend. Zowssa.....a jumper had a horseshoe in the door of a dc-3, and exited the door way with a partial horseshoe flapping all the way down. The crowd knew a jumper was about to die right then, and half turned away and the other half watched. The jumper knew his dilemma, so he got flat, undulated like doing dutch rolls on the horizon, then made the biggest, wide swing, and pulled the reserve. THe reserve deployed through the horseshoe semicircle attatched to his back(wonderhog) and it opened about 400 feet, deployed and he plf-ed alive. Folks were screaming at him to pull, pull- what else could they do? THe relieved jumper picked his shit up and walked over to bill booth at the relative workshop table, threw the hog down, and got a three-ring circus, packed it up and went up again within the half-hour. Never liked wonderhogs before or after.
That footage was AMAZING!!! What a great training vid for new pilots. Good thing there was plenty of altitude to get that thing back under control. WOW!! A miracle nobody got hit.
Cliff Schultz 1
Somebody buy that man a beer!
gilgraham 1
The elevator was full up as soon as you see it in the video, no wonder it snapped. I believe ALL PILOTS should have some aerobatic experience. There's just too much temptation to "pull back" when it hits the fan.
carste10 1
Notice the use of aileron as the wing stalls, aggravating the situation.


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