Polish Skydiving Plane Accident Kills Eleven
A plane crash near Topolów, Poland this weekend killed eleven people and left one seriously injured. Shortly after departure from Skydive Rudniki, given the statements of witnesses on the ground- it would appear that the plane began experiencing problems, with reports of strange noises coming from the engines. The twin engine Piper Navajo aircraft was carrying 11 skydivers and the pilot when it crashed.
There were conflicting reports with regards to the final moments before the crash, with some saying the plane caught fire on impact, while other witnesses were quoted saying that the plane caught fire moments before impact, when it was seen flying close to the houses.
Another quote from a witness suggested that some of the skydivers may have tried to exit the aircraft prior to impact.
At the time of publication, there was no official cause of the accident. Though some news reports indicated that the plane was over capacity.
Unfortunatelly one of my best mates died in side the aircraft. One of witneses rescured one of skydivers, from wreckage. He also hard calling for help comming from inside, and seconds after plane caught a fire. Probably some of skydivers died in flames... The most probably couse of crash was one of engine faliure. I've heard that the aircraft had engine faliure once already. My mate who is a FI, was on the aerodrome week before crash, saw that the engine was repaired. There was lots of good mates, skydivers and fantastic people. RIP [*] I will miss Bartek Wojciak the most :(
Ignorant post ChrisD. Overgross airplane, engine out (possibly on fire), load potentially moving aft trying to exit... all of those things are deadly. This is not a shitty aircraft, and there are a few being used in the USA for jump operations quite successfully. Been used in Canada for years too.
A painful reminder of the blind trust we place in our aircraft,...? Overloaded, poor maintenance, and or a very poor performing aircraft in the first place? So the real question is why do we as skydivers place so much blind trust in others and their judgment that just because something that we have gotten away with more than a few times means it is an acceptable for the future? Light twins and overloaded Cessna's have been and continue to be the bane of the aircraft used in skydiving amounting to the overwhelming population of fatal incidents. You can chose to ignore this because "some" have gotten away with it and continue to do so or you can educate yourself and rise above this ignorance and in the process quite possibly save your ass someday! Using a light twin for jump operations is and HAS BEEN WELL KNOWN FOR YEARS to be a problem child. Personally, I have refused more than one occasion to jump from them. Their performance has and ALWAYS HAS BEEN marginal and their use for jump operations has always been questionable. You might want to consider this before you get into an aircraft with such poor performance as compared with more suitable and popular aircraft. And this is well before anything goes wrong!!! The same continues to go for all of those Cessna drop zones that continue to operate their aircraft: at or near gross, YOU just don't have any safety margin, something to consider,...for those of you out their that are a little more proactive when it comes to safety.
The info at this site seems to indicate that the plane is almost impossible to fly to a safe landing if one engine expiriences problems at takeoff. That is even more so if the plane is highly loaded and/or the load isn't distributed correctly. What I could find seems to indicate that with 11 jumpers with equipment and a pilot that the plane was over weight.
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