NTSB Identification: LAX99FA242.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 04, 1999 in HILO, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Beech 58, registration: N971GA
Injuries: 1 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.

In the takeoff initial climb after a 3,000-foot ground roll, the pilot radioed, 'Can't make it,' and that he was returning to land. The airplane impacted the runway 6,300 feet from the start of the takeoff roll and burned. The pilot was hired to ferry the airplane on an FAA issued Special Flight Permit from Japan to Illinois. The pilot held a FAA airframe and power plant technician certificate with inspection authority, and was to supply and install the fuel tank system necessary for the long-range trans-Pacific flight. While en route to Honolulu, he diverted to Johnston Atoll, due to a fuel flow problem from the ferry tanks to the aircraft fuel system. The pilot discussed the problem with the aircraft owner, and the routing of the ferry fuel tank hoses and potential interference by airplane structure and landing gear was discussed as a possible problem area. After an 18-day delay, and prior to departure, the airplane was fueled with 50 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel sent to Johnston Atoll by barge, and 50 gallons of automotive fuel provided by the military. The airplane was then flown to Honolulu, where the pilot locally purchased and installed an additional 45-gallon fuel tank, then on to Hilo. The departure at Hilo was for the estimated 2,023-mile leg to Oakland, California. The airplane was operating in an over-gross weight condition, which was within the authorized ferry flight weight limitation; however, the CG was in excess of 2 inches aft of the aft limit. The CG variance was not authorized in the ferry permit. The left engine was removed and successfully run meeting all Continental test parameters. Disassembly of the left propeller disclosed marks consistent with operation at, or very near, low pitch stop at the time of impact, indicating something less than full power. Automotive type rubber hoses were found routed and draped from ferry fuel tanks to the main gear wheel wells and through the airplane center section. An auxiliary tank hose was found draped through the left landing gear retract brace. The hose had evidence of being compressed by interference with the airplane structure and the gear retract braces. No vapor return line to the left tank was found.

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

The pilot's improper fuel system modifications resulting in inadequate fuel flow to the left engine during a critical phase of flight. Factors in the accident were the operation at an over gross weight condition with a CG more than 2 inches aft of the rear limit.

Full narrative available

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