14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 30, 2011 in Perris, CA
Aircraft: BEECH 76, registration: N6718X
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor,2 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On July 30, 2011, about 0825 Pacific daylight time, a Beech 76 (Duchess), N6718X, impacted terrain during initial climb seconds after takeoff from runway 15 at the Perris Valley Airport, Perris, California. Of the four occupants on board the airplane, the private pilot was seriously injured, one passenger received minor injuries, and two passengers were not injured. The airplane's fuselage and wings were deformed during the impact, and the airplane was substantially damaged. California Flight Center, Inc., Long Beach, California, operated the airplane and had rented it to the pilot for his personal flight. The flight was performed under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. No flight plan was filed for the planned cross-country flight to Paso Robles, California. The flight was originating at the time of the crash.
The pilot reported to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane and was familiar with the airplane's takeoff performance and runway distance requirements. According to the pilot, he loaded the airplane to near its maximum certificated gross weight, and he elected to depart from near the 5,100-foot-long runway's midfield location. The pilot stated that he adhered to the prescribed procedures written in the airplane's check lists. During the engine run-up, no mechanical discrepancies were noted. Full engine power was attained, the brakes were released, and the takeoff roll commenced. However, prior to reaching the prescribed rotation airspeed, the airplane's nose pitched up, and the airplane became airborne. The pilot further reported that he maintained control of the airplane while it was in ground effect. As the airplane continued to climb and was over one wingspan above the ground, the left side cockpit door inadvertently opened. The pilot stated that he was able to close the door. However, the airplane began to roll from side to side, indicating it was stalling. The pilot decreased the airplane's pitch attitude in an effort at recovering.
The airplane impacted an estimated 6-foot-high dirt berm, and crashed into an open field about 1,000 feet south of the runway's departure end.
The Safety Board investigator and Federal Aviation Administration personnel are evaluating the local wind condition, runway distance and airplane performance data including its weight and balance, and the airplane's door latching mechanism.
Last month's crash of a heavily loaded plane at Perris Valley Airport happened after the pilot decided to begin takeoff about halfway down the runway, federal crash investigators said.
The pilot was seriously injured, one passenger was slightly hurt and two other passengers escaped without injury when the twin-engine Beechcraft Duchess slammed into a 6-foot-high dirt berm in a field about 1,000 feet south of the runway's departure end, the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report said.
The pilot had rented the four-seat plane from California Flight Center in Long Beach. He took off at 8:25 a.m. July 30 on a flight that was supposed to end in Paso Robles.
"According to the pilot, he loaded the airplane to near its maximum certificated gross weight, and he elected to depart from near the 5,100-foot-long runway's midfield location," the report said. "Full engine power was attained, the brakes were released and the takeoff roll commenced.
But the plane became airborne before the prescribed takeoff speed was attained, the report said.
The pilot, whose name was not released, told investigators he initially kept the airplane under control, but his door flew open just as the plane began to climb.
"The pilot stated that he was able to close the door. However, the airplane began to roll from side to side, indicating it was stalling," the investigators wrote. "The pilot decreased the airplane's pitch attitude in an effort at recovering."
But it was too late.
Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration investigators are evaluating the wind conditions at the time of the crash, the runway distance, the plane's performance data, its weight during the takeoff and the door latching mechanism.