OCEANSIDE — Last week’s fatal crash of a small aircraft in Oceanside marks the second accident involving a plane operated by skydiving company GoJump America in the past four months, Oceanside police officials have confirmed.
Around 1:50 p.m. on June 3, the Cessna 208B Caravan was on its sixth flight of the day when it crashed while attempting to land at Bob Maxwell Field near Oceanside Municipal Airport, according to Oceanside Fire Department officials.
Two individuals were inside the plane at the time of the crash, including a woman who was pronounced dead after being transported to Tri-City Medical Center, and a man who was in critical condition as of Friday. Media outlets at the scene reported that skydivers had already jumped out of the plane when the crash occurred.
The cause of the fatal crash is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Oceanside police and fire officials have not released any further information about the condition of the man, nor the identity of the woman who died.
According to data from FlightAware, the Cessna was on its sixth flight of the day when it crashed, taking off at 1:31 p.m. from Bob Maxwell Field and crashing near the field just 16 minutes later. The day’s previous round-trip flights, presumably for skydiving, had all taken between 15 and 20 minutes.
The National Transportation Safety Board is also continuing to investigate a separate crash involving a GoJump aircraft from just over three months ago on Feb. 24, also near Oceanside Municipal Airport.
The February crash, also of a Cessna 208B Caravan, left two men injured with no fatalities as the aircraft attempted to land at the Oceanside airport. Unlike the most recent incident, the February GoJump flight was in the air for around 50 minutes before crashing.
A preliminary report regarding the February crash stated that after the skydivers jumped from the plane, the pilot of the aircraft decided to use a steep beta descent described as a means to “race the skydivers to the ground,” as recounted by the passenger of the plane who was also a pilot observing the flight.
The report states that after conducting the descent with the power idle, the pilot flying the aircraft attempted to stop the descent as they drew near the airport by engaging the power, but that the power lever, engine thrust and propeller speed lever were all unresponsive. The plane ultimately crashed after being unable to maintain altitude.
According to the National Safety Transportation Board, full investigations into aviation incidents can typically take between one and two years to complete.
While operated by GoJump, the aircrafts that crashed in both the February and June were rented from other companies — Nevada-based Desert Sand Aircraft Leasing Co. and GoSky America 5 Inc., respectively, according to FlightAware.
Oceanside is one of two locations where GoJump offers tandem skydiving with over 90,000 jumps completed, according to the GoJump website. The company also operates in Las Vegas.
GoJump did not respond to inquiries about the incident.
Skydiving aviation accidents are rare, with approximately 3 million jumps taking place per year and nine fatal accidents killing 26 people occurring between 2012 and 2021, according to the United States Parachute Association.