The Beech King Air that crashed last week, has begun to generate some back and forth between the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration about the FAA’s oversight of the segment. The crash, which occurred on the perimeter of the airport grounds at Dillingham in Oahu, Hawaii, killed 11, including the pilot and 5 other employees of the skydiving operation, Oahu Parachute Center.
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In 2016 the same airplane was involved in a mishap when the entire right side of its horizontal stabilizer came off in flight when it was at altitude. One of the skydivers captured the drama as all the parachutists bailed out when the plane went into a spin. The departed horizontal tail piece can be seen in the video falling from the plane, as well.
Remarkably, the pilot of the plane was able to recover from the spin and land the plane safely. No one was injured in the event, and the plane was repaired and returned to service. The NTSB blamed pilot error and incorrect loading as being likely causes of the loss of control and structural failure.
This week’s tragic crash brought into focus recommendations the NTSB made a decade ago after another skydiving crash, which it says the FAA has not followed up on. The Board asked that the FAA require greater oversight of maintenance and operations for commercial skydiving companies. In response, the FAA was adamant that it had improved oversight in both areas.
The NTSB continues to investigate the Oahu crash in an attempt to determine what caused it.