Cessna 208B, Molokai, Hawaii, Oct. 15, 2009–The Grand Caravan was substantially damaged when its tail struck the ground during passenger loading operations. The aircraft was operating under Part 135 at the time of the incident. In a report to the Safety Board, Mokulele Airlines stated that the second-in-command pilot noted a load manifest discrepancy after the five passengers were loaded.
The second-in-command pilot reported the error to the ramp agent, who then boarded the airplane through the aft door. The aircraft then “tilted downwards” and the tail struck the tarmac, causing structural damage to an aft bulkhead and the tail tiedown assembly. There were no injuries.