A small twin engine plane owned by a skydiving operation has gone down in the east central Missouri town of Sullivan. According to sources close to Quantum Leap Skydiving, the DHC-6 DeHavilland Twin Otter lost an engine on take-off from Sullivan Regional Airport about 2:00 p.m. Saturday, with 7 skydivers and the pilot on board. The plane crashed in the backyard of a house about one half mile north of the runway.
According to an eyewitness, there was a puff of smoke from one of the engines, and pop, and the plane banked over and went into the woods. A woman in her pool next door to where the plane crashed, said that it missed the top of the home by about 5 feet. Four of the people on board, including the pilot, were pronounced dead at the scene. The 4 remaining skydivers were transported to St. John’s Mercy hospital in St. Louis by helicopter in critical condition. Two of those people have since died.
An investigation will be conducted by the MO State Highway Patrol, and the National Transportation and Safety Board. Sullivan is located on I-44 about an hour southwest of St. Louis.