Time: 17:30:00ZRegis#: N65355
Aircraft Make: STEARMAN
Aircraft Model: B75
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA FSDO: FAA Orlando FSDO-15
AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, WINGTIP STRUCK THE RUNWAY, LAKELAND, FL
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 19, 2013 in Tampa, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2014
Aircraft: BOEING B75N1, registration: N65355
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that he briefed the planned jump with the parachutists before departure during a festival and that the parachutists were supposed to jump after reaching 2,800 feet mean sea level (msl). About 30 minutes before the jump, the right-wing parachutist requested to depart from the right wing rather than the front seat; the pilot and left-wing parachutist agreed. The preflight brief did not address whether or not the parachutists would drift over the crowd at the airfield or not. During takeoff, the two parachutists were standing on the lower wing to the left and right of the cockpit and gripping the handhold on the upper wing surface. They were not wearing safety harnesses. The pilot reported that when the airplane was climbing through about 1,000 feet msl, the right-wing parachutist departed the airplane in a “stable and controlled jump posture” but before the planned jump altitude of 2,800 feet. The pilot entered a left turn, gained visual contact with the parachutist, and saw the parachute canopy open before the parachutist impacted the ground. The pilot returned to the airpark without further incident.
Forensic toxicology samples taken from the accident parachutist were negative for drugs, alcohol, and carbon monoxide. Examination of the airframe, engine, and parachute systems revealed no preaccident mechanical malfunction or anomalies that would have precluded normal operations. It could not be determined why the right wing parachutist departed the airplane before the planned jump altitude or why he delayed opening his parachute canopy, which resulted in his subsequent impact with trees and terrain.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The parachutist’s low altitude departure from the right wing before the planned altitude and his delayed opening of his parachute canopy, which resulted in impact with a tree and then the ground before the parachute fully opened.
HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On October 19, 2013 about 1350 eastern standard time, a Boeing B75N1, N65355, was not damaged during an air show at Tampa North Aero Park (X39) Tampa, Florida. The airline transport pilot and one parachutist were not injured. One parachutist sustained fatal injuries when his parachute did not fully deploy. The airplane was registered to and operated by private individuals, and conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as an aerial demonstration. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed X39 about 1345.
In an interview with local law enforcement authorities, the pilot stated that the planned jump was briefed with the parachutists prior to the departure from X39. The pilot added that the parachutists were to reside on the lower wing of the airplane after takeoff until reaching 2,800 feet mean sea level (msl), and then depart the airplane to parachute onto X39. At approximately 1,000 feet msl, the right wing parachutist exited the aircraft in a "stable and controlled jump posture," which was prior to the planned jumping altitude. The pilot stated that he was in a left turn and located the parachutist visually, and that the parachutist was in perfect "form and body position" after departure from the airplane. The pilot stated that he did not know why the parachutist left the plane prematurely, and why he took so long to open his parachute. In a phone conversation with a friend, the pilot mentioned that the accident parachutist pushed off of the airplane and did not slip or fall. The pilot did not report any preflight mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane. After the accident, the pilot returned to X39 and landed without further incident.
The witness parachutist on the left wing stated that about 30 minutes before the jump demonstration, the accident parachutist asked the pilot if he could stand on the wing instead of sitting in the front seat. The witness parachutist stated that he thought it was a good idea too and agreed to stand on the left wing during the jump. He added that the pilot agreed to let the parachutists depart from the left and right wings and he was surprised when the accident parachutist departed the airplane before reaching the planned altitude of 2,800 feet msl. The witness parachutist climbed into the front seat after the accident and before the airplane returned to X39.
The Tampa North Festival of Flight event was originally planned to be "ground" aviation event with static display aircraft only. The event grew with the addition of a hot air balloon and parachute jump demonstration. The event coordinator at the Tampa North Airport allowed the pilot to plan and execute the parachute jump activity. A waiver to conduct the parachute jumps over a populated area was required and according to according to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, an attempt was made by the airport Director of Operations to contact a FAA inspector on October 9, 2013; the same week of the Federal Government shutdown. As a result, there was no FAA presence at the event when the accident occurred.
The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land, single and multiengine sea, and an endorsement for flight instructor issued on April 11, 2013. According to the pilot's logbook, he recorded about 2,712 total flight hours. The pilot was issued a second-class medical certificate on June 25, 2013, with the restriction of "must wear corrective lenses and possess glasses for near and distant vision."
According to the United States Parachute Association, the fatal parachutist reported 2,800 jumps total, and 100 in the previous 12 months at his last membership renewal in December 2012. No jump logbooks could be located for the parachutist.
According to FAA records, the bi-plane, model number B75N1, serial number 75-6512, was manufactured by Boeing in 1942, and was powered by a Pratt and Whitney R985-AN3 400-hp motor. An annual inspection was completed on the airplane on June 18, 2013 at a tachometer time of 42.1 hours and a total time of 2,836.3 hours. A standard airworthiness certificate was issued on November 20, 2009. Examination of the airplane by a FAA inspector revealed no damage to the airplane. The airplane was equipped with a safety restraint in the front seat, but not on each wing where the two parachutists resided.
The 1355 recorded weather at Zephyr Hills Municipal Airport (ZPH), located about 12 nautical miles to the east of the accident location, reported wind from 240 degrees at 3 knots, scattered clouds at 4,200 feet above ground level (agl), overcast at 9,500 feet agl, temperature 31 degrees C, dew point 18 degrees C, and an altimeter setting or 29.90 inches of mercury.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLIGICAL INFORMATION
A postmortem examination was conducted on the fatal parachutist by the Pasco/Pinellas County Sixth District, Office of the Medical Examiner. The cause of death was reported as blunt trauma. Forensic toxicology testing on samples taken from the fatal parachutist were negative for drugs, alcohol, and carbon monoxide.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
Examnination by NTSB of the fatal parachutist parachute system showed it consisted of a container, harness, primary canopy, and reserve canopy. The Javelin container, model number J1, serial number 18383, was manufactured by Sun Path Products Inc. in February 2000. The main canopy, a Stiletto 150, and reserve canopy PR143, serial number 202635, were manufactured by Performance Designs in October 1999. The reserve parachute was packed on June 29, 2013, and expired on December 25, 2013. The parachute system was equipped with a Cypres 2 Automatic Activation Device (AAD), serial number 75532, and manufactured by Cypres in March 2012. The AAD was sent to the manufacturer for data download. No information was stored on the device.
The left and right main canopy risers were properly connected and unremarkable. The main parachute pilot chute was pulled and no discrepancies were noted. The main parachute cut-a-way system was connected and unremarkable. The reserve parachute release handle was not seated in the proper position and exhibited signs consistent with deployment after ground impact. The reserve parachute was stowed, undamaged, and the reserve pin was through the closing loop with the riggers lead seal intact. The steering toggles were stowed in their respective risers, undamaged, and unremarkable.
The main parachute deployed during the accident jump and exhibited no signs of damage to the main canopy. There were several lines that exhibited cuts consistent with rescue operations and several lines that exhibited separation consistent with tree impact. The main parachute deployment bag was undamaged and unremarkable. There were no anomalies noted with the parachute that would have precluded normal operation prior to the accident.
According to 14 CFR Part 105.21: Parachute operations over or into a congested area or an open-air assembly of persons.
(a) No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in command of an aircraft may allow a parachute operation to be conducted from that aircraft, over or into a congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or an open-air assembly of persons unless a certificate of authorization for that parachute operation has been issued under this section. However, a parachutist may drift over a congested area or an open-air assembly of persons with a fully deployed and properly functioning parachute if that parachutist is at a sufficient altitude to avoid creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface.
NTSB Identification: ERA14LA011
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 19, 2013 in Tampa, FL
Aircraft: BOEING B75N1, registration: N65355
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Uninjured.
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 completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On October 19, 2013 about 1350 eastern standard time, a Boeing B75N1, N65355, operated by a private individual, was not damaged when a parachutist was fatally injured after jumping from the wing during an air show at Tampa North Aero Park (X39) Tampa, Florida. The airline transport pilot and one parachutist were not injured. One parachutist sustained fatal injuries when his parachute did not fully deploy. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed no flight plan was filed for the local flight.
In an interview with local Sheriff's Deputies, the pilot stated that the planned jump air show was briefed with the parachutists prior to the flight's departure from X39. The pilot added that the parachutists were to reside on the lower wing of the airplane after takeoff until reaching 2,800 feet mean sea level (msl), and then depart the airplane to parachute onto X39.
The pilot stated that at approximately 1,000 feet msl, the parachutist on the right side of the airplane departed the airplane premature to the planned altitude. The pilot stated that he was in a left turn and was watching the parachutist, and that he was in perfect "form and body position." The pilot explained to Deputies that he did not know why the parachutist left the plane so early, and why he took so long to open his chute. The pilot did not report any preflight mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane. After the accident the pilot returned to X39 and landed without further incident.
Mark Anthony Curto
October 25, 1950 - October 19, 2013
CURTO, Mark Anthony, 62, of Tampa, passed away on October 19, 2013 doing something he absolutely loved, Skydiving. He was recently preceded in death by his loving wife, Judith. Mark is survived by his siblings, Chris Curto, Gary Curto and Steve Curto. He retired in 2012 from Xerox and just recently took up Ballroom Dancing with great enthusiasm. Mark had a deep passion of both skydiving and scuba diving, which he shared with his many friends and loved ones. He was also a talented guitarist and harmonica player and had a great love for music. Mark devoted his life to his family and his friends. He will always be remembered for his loving spirit, the biggest heart, and contagious smile to everyone around him. He will be truly missed by all that knew and loved him. A celebration of his life will be held 6:00pm, Thursday, October 24, 2013 at the Blount & Curry Funeral Home- Carrollwood Chapel, 3207 W. Bearss Avenue, Tampa with a gathering from 4:00 until the time of service. Online condolences may be expressed at blountcurrycarrollwood.com
LUTZ -- The man who died after jumping out of a biplane during an air show in Lutz on Saturday was a veteran skydiver.
According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, 62-year-old Mark Curto, of Tampa, fell from a plane doing a maneuver during the Festival of Flight at Tampa North Flight Center.
Shortly after takeoff, witnesses say they saw Curto drop from the aircraft right to the ground. Curto landed in the Grand Oaks subdivision in Wesley Chapel where he died.
At Skydive City in Zephyrhills, friend David T.K. Hayes said Curto had been jumping for at least 20 years.
"He's been a real common fixture out here every weekend," said Hayes. "He was a recreational jumper, who enjoyed jumping with friends."
Hayes said Curto always brought a smile and sense of humor.
“It's just such a tragedy to see stuff like this," said Hayes. "It's a horrible accident."
Hayes said Curto lost his wife earlier this year.
"He was just getting over recovering from that," said Hayes.
Some knew right away something was wrong, while others thought at first it might be part of the show.
"Sounds kind of insane, but wing-walkers have been wing-walking at air shows for a long, long time," said Hayes.
"The two of them jumped on the wings, and then they just took off," said witness Candy Syzmanski. "We were like oh my gosh, they're supposed to be in an airplane not hanging off an airplane...they were supposed to circle back and that's when the one fell off."
"Shocking, surreal, is what it was,” said witness Toby Fallis. “To see someone fall off a plane and have it actually be a human body and not a stunt or something fake."
Some people familiar with skydiving procedures said it appeared Curto was too low when he dropped and he wouldn't have had time to open his parachute.
The FAA is investigating the incident.
The pilot landed the plane safely at Tampa Executive Airport.