NEWFANE, NY (WKBW) - The NTSB released a preliminary report regarding the crash of a small plane carrying a number of skydivers on August 1.
The report claims that the jump door on the right side of the airplane opened during the plane's ascent. The pilot was not concerned with the door, as it would not have critically impacted the plane's performance, however, one of the experienced parachutists attempted to secure the door.
According to the report, the pilot yelled at the parachutist to stop, however, he continued to attempt to secure the door to the point where he was partially outside of the airplane. The pilot then physically grabbed the parachutist, attempting to pull him back into the airplane.
This caused the pilot to become distracted, resulting in the airplane veering left towards some trees while still flying at a low airspeed. The airplane subsequently struck the trees and impacted the ground, coming to rest inverted in a wooded area with the roof of the cabin and empennage separated.
FAA inspections of the airplane did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions in the airplane, and the pilot reported 4,010 hours of total flight experience on his most recent FAA application.
Read the full report linked under 'related content'.