Aviation safety investigations & reports

Beechcraft D50-A Twin Bonanza, VH-CLO, Toogoolawah QLD, 13 August 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The deceased and two of her friends had gone to Toogoolawah to participate in a "First Jump" parachute training course. They arrived at about 0900 hours and after completing registration procedures joined another 18 persons on the 21 student course. The training was initially conducted by a senior parachute instructor until the acting chief instructor and another instructor arrived about an hour later. The course then proceeded under his supervision with the other two instructors assisting. Following the completion of the practical and theory parts of the course a written examination was completed by each of the students and the course was divided into smaller groups for the parachute descent from the aircraft. The first group of eight students successfully completed their descents. The parachutes were repacked and issued to the second group of seven students. Prior to them boarding the aircraft the acting chief instructor, who was performing the duties of the jumpmaster and supervising the descents from the aircraft, checked each student's equipment. When he was satisfied, the students, the jumpmaster and another experienced parachutist boarded the aircraft. The aircraft took off at 1724 hours and climbed to 3000 feet, the planned exit altitude for the students. Two students jumped successfully and the deceased then took up the exit position in the aircraft doorway. She was given the instruction to jump by the jumpmaster, who then observed her descent. He reported that the body position that she adopted, after leaving the aircraft, was not correct in that her body was not arched sufficiently. The student then rolled slightly to her right with her left arm becoming fouled with the pilot parachute used to extract the main parachute. The student then turned to fall stomach down before being pulled upright. The jumpmaster then lost sight of the student and an observer on the ground reported that she did not attempt to deploy the reserve until about five seconds before impacting the ground. The reserve parachute became entangled with the lines, bag and pilot chute of the main parachute and did not inflate. A subsequent inspection of the equipment used by the student did not find any defect or inconsistency in its operation. Students on the course indicated that most parts of the course provided adequate training for the jump. However, adverse comments were received concerning the number of students on the course and the written examination. In general, it was felt that 21 was too large a group for the organisation to train given the amount of equipment available and the necessary time restraints caused by the need for all students to complete the jump, from the one aircraft in the one day, before dark. They believed that the written examination was poorly administered and inadequate. The investigator's opinion is that the examination lacked objectivity. .

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General details
Date: 13 August 1988   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1730    
Location   (show map): Toogoolawah    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Miscellaneous - Other  
Release date: 10 March 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft model D50-A Twin Bonanza  
Aircraft registration VH-CLO  
Serial number DH-158  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Toogoolawah QLD  
Departure time 1724  
Destination Toogoolawah QLD