NTSB Identification: CHI97FA256.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, August 12, 1997 in ALICE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1999
Aircraft: Beech BE-65-A90, registration: N41VC
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The flight was part of a pre-buy inspection of the airplane. Witnesses reported the airplane did not climb more than 200 feet above ground level (agl) after takeoff. The airplane entered a shallow left turn and completed about 210 degrees of heading change before it impacted a flat field near the approach end of runway 26. Witnesses reported that the landing gear were retracted and that the engines sounded like they running at high power, but the airplane did not accelerate or climb normally. The airspeed was slow and 'mushy.' The engines' gas generator sections exhibited strong rotational scoring. The engines' power sections exhibited light rotational signatures. The left and right propellers exhibited minimal leading edge damage. Both propellers exhibited high blade angles. The secondary low pitch stops (SLPS) had been installed on the aircraft four days prior to the accident. A ground check, but no flight check, had been conducted. The SLPS sensors were found in the full aft position on the mounting bracket, not in the normal mid-range position. The SLPS control box installed on the aircraft was an updated box and was incompatible with the existing wiring.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

loss of control due to the pilot's improper in-flight decision. A factor was the improper installation of the secondary low pitch stop system by the mechanic.

Full narrative available

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