NTSB Identification: LAX01LA177.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 13, 2001 in So Lake Tahoe, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/15/2002
Aircraft: Beech E33A, registration: N464SR
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the pretakeoff check, the pilot observed that a mechanical malfunction existed with the vernier control button on the throttle knob. It had partially unscrewed. The pilot attempted to remedy the situation by screwing the knob back into place, and then he commenced the takeoff. The airplane was loaded at or within 240 pounds of its certificated maximum gross weight, and the density altitude was about 7,700 feet. The airplane accelerated, lifted off the ground, and gained about 30 feet. The pilot had not received dual instruction in the airplane in high density altitude procedures, and he was not experienced in this type of operation. Believing that the rate of climb was inhibited due to a downdraft, and with the wings rocking back and forth on the verge of stalling, the pilot retracted the landing gear in an effort at increasing the climb rate. Still dissatisfied with the airplane's inability to climb, the pilot retarded the throttle to abort the takeoff. He then tried to lower the landing gear. When the pilot attempted to increase the throttle to provide more time for the gear to extend, the throttle control knob jammed due to the improperly secured screw. The airplane impacted the runway with partially extended landing gear, and slid to a stop about 1,500 feet before reaching its departure end.

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

The pilot's improper aircraft handling and decision to prematurely raise the landing gear during takeoff. Contributing factors were his lack of experience taking off under the high density altitude condition and his improper maintenance.

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