NTSB Identification: FTW99FA222.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 16, 1999 in HOLDENVILLE, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA30, registration: N7178Y
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.

According to a witness, the twin-engine airplane's takeoff appeared to be 'normal' except for the loud noise, which he believed was coming from the right engine. The noise 'sounded like something rubbing against a metal fan.' The witness stated that 'after the plane was in the air, it started to turn to the left like it was going to gain altitude [and] then suddenly turned right, then it started to lose altitude.' He then lost sight of the airplane as it went behind some trees. Another witness described hearing the airplane overhead 'backfiring, popping.' The witness watched the aircraft for about 1/2 mile until it disappeared behind some trees. The witness continued to hear the engine 'pop' about 20 more times before hearing a 'large backfire, 'pop'' and 10-15 seconds later he 'heard the engines race in rpm (motor revved-up high).' He then heard the airplane impact the ground. According to an insurance application filled out nine months before the accident, the commercial pilot had a total of 507 flight hours, of which 85.6 hours were in multi-engine airplanes. Other than one flight with the operator of the airplane earlier in the day of the accident, the pilot did not have any previous experience in the same make and model as the accident airplane. Flight control continuity was established. The right propeller was found in what appeared to be the feather position. An examination of the engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have resulted in a loss of power.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during takeoff initial climb. Factors were the loss of right engine power for undetermined reasons, and the pilot's lack of total experience in the make and model of aircraft.

Full narrative available

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