The pilot was conducting a skydiver jump run. Before letting the skydivers out of the Cessna 206, the radio squelch interrupter failed, causing a constant static noise.
After letting the skydivers out over the airport in Titusville, Florida, the pilot set up the descent based on the winds acquired for the previous landing on Runway 22. As he circled for landing, the manifold pressure indication “dropped off” to zero.
He was unsure if he had a partial power loss or a gauge failure. He could not hear or feel the engine indications because of the static noise on the radio squelch and descent profile, so he committed to a power off glide path for his approach.
He stated that the airplane’s approach speed was about 100 knots prior to the threshold for landing.
The airplane touched down beyond the threshold and as the pilot applied full braking, the airplane “ballooned” back into the air. He attempted to stop the airplane, but was unsuccessful and it left the runway, coming to rest after colliding with a ditch.
An examination of the airplane revealed that the empennage and firewall was buckled during the landing sequence.
The airplane was equipped with a JPI engine monitor and review of the data did not reveal a loss in engine power during the flight. The wind reported from a nearby weather station revealed that winds were 10° at 6 knots at the time of the accident.
Probable cause: The pilot’s landing with a tailwind at an excessive speed, which resulted in a runway excursion, and collision with a ditch.
NTSB Identification: ERA15CA302
This August 2015 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.