Safety officials have released the preliminary cause of a small plane crash that killed four skydivers in August.
The plane was a Cessna 182A, N4785D operated by The Jumping Place Skydiving Center. Three passengers and the pilot were fatally injured. One passenger was seriously injured.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report, a missing fuel cap is believed to have caused the crash.
“The pilot asked the parachute rigger to get in contact with the maintenance facility on the airport to see if they had an extra fuel cap,” NTSB’s report reads. “The parachute rigger told the mechanic that they were missing a fuel cap and the maintenance facility sent someone over.”
NTSB says the pilot and mechanic told the parachute rigger they used “fuel cell tape” to cover the fuel filler port.
According to The Jumping Place, Andrew “Drew” Swenson, Aliaksandr “Alex” Bahrytsevich, Christopher Eldridge and Justin Duff were killed in the crash.
William Middlebrooks was rescued from the wreck and transported to a nearby hospital with critical injuries.