Two additional solo jumpers climbed aboard a Beechcraft King Air A90 skydiving plane shortly before it crashed on takeoff from Dillingham Airfield (HDH) in Hawaii last month, according to the NTSB's preliminary report issued this week. The aircraft (N256TA) was operating its fourth of five scheduled jump flights for the day when it crashed within the airport boundary north of Runway 8/26.
All 11 persons on board were fatally injured in the June 21 accident, including the pilot, three tandem parachute instructors and their customers, two camera operators, and two solo jumpers who joined the flight “at the last minute” before the aircraft taxied out for departure, according to the prelim.
An Oahu Parachute Center (OPC) skydiving instructor who witnessed the accident told investigators the aircraft produced a sound "consistent with the engines operating at high power" as it started its takeoff roll on Runway 8.
"When the airplane came into his view as it headed toward him, it was at an altitude of between 150 and 200 feet above ground level and appeared to be turning," the Board continued. "He could see its belly, with the top of the cabin facing the ocean to the north. The airplane then struck the ground in a nose-down attitude, and a fireball erupted."