|Quoting A340Spotter (Reply 6):|
If that was a Twin Otter as the tail section looks vaguely like, it could be N181CS as it's the only Missouri registered Twin Otter.
Not very relevant, most skydiving operations operating Twotters and CASAs lease them from one of several companies based in AZ
, NY, FL
, and NC
. The demand is very seasonal and this keeps them from making payments on the a/c during slow summers for the deep south or slow winters for the north.
Any word on the condition of survivors? Typical load for a Twotter is 20-22 jumpers so I'm assuming that most survived. Scratch that, news report I just found shows that a/c was taking off with only 8 on board, fatality count is now at 6 and one of the two remaining survivors is critical. Very sad.
People often joke about "Why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane" without realizing that the aircraft takeoff is about as dangereous as the jump.
The Twotter is very reliable and easy to fly under normal conditions but can be quite a bear in an engine out situation, particularly if it occurs immediately following takeoff. The news report indicated that there was some form of problem with an engine visible to those on the ground - not very specific. This a/c should be able to easily climb with only 8 on board although it is possible that the a/c was in town only for the weekend and crashed on takeoff for a ferry flight and could have been loaded down with gear, fuel, etc.
The only other reason I can think of for the a/c to take off with so few on board would be if it was a team training flight as Quantum Leap does a fair amount of this type of business and sometimes the teams will pay extra to take the a/c when there's not a full load just to keep their training going.
My condolences to the families and friends. I know what they are going through as I've lost several friends in plane crashes and have been fortunate enough to survive one personally as well.
Sometimes it's said in jest, but at other times it's too painfully true: