Date & Time: Feb 15, 1981 at 1450 LT
Type of aircraft:
Pilatus PC-6 (Porter & Turbo Porter)
Skydiving / Paratroopers
Sibson - Sibson
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Aircraft flight hours:
The aircraft was making a parachuting flight in fine weather and was being flown by a pilot who held a Private Pilot's Licence. Almost immediately after becoming airborne the pilot found he had to use both hands on the control column to counter a strong nose-up out of trim force. The aircraft gained about 250 feet in a semi-stalled condition, then yawed to the left and lost height until it struck the ground, suffering serious damage but no catching fire. Three of the nine parachutists on board received serious injuries and the other occupants received minor injuries.
The accident was the result of loss of control of the aircraft following a takeoff with an incorrect horizontal stabilizer trim setting. Contributory factors were the incorrect loading of the aircraft, the difficulty of re-trimming the horizontal stabilizer rapidly and an inadequate standard of aircraft operation.