U.S. Skydiving Suffers Most Devastating Loss Since 1995
On June 21 a Beechcraft King Air with 10 skydivers on board crashed shortly after takeoff from Dillingham Field near Waialua, Hawaii. All 11 aboard the aircraft were killed in the crash. The aircraft was operated by Oahu Parachute Center, one of three drop zones located on the airport. In addition to the pilot, the plane carried three tandem students and their three tandem instructors, two videographers and two skydivers. The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting the accident investigation.
The record of fatal jump plane crashes has improved markedly over the past 10 years, with seven such crashes since 2009, in which 16 jump pilots and skydivers were killed. In the previous 10-year period—1999-2008—there were 14 fatal jump plane crashes killing 47 jump pilots and skydivers. The recent Hawaii crash was the deadliest jump plane crash since the September 1995 crash of a Beechcraft Queen Air near West Point, Virginia that killed 11 on board the aircraft and one person on the ground.
Authorities will release the names of the deceased once they have notified the families.