NTSB Identification: MIA05FA050.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 14, 2005 in Lakeland, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Cessna T337G, registration: N42WA
Injuries: 2 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 airplane was in a steep nose-up attitude after becoming airborne, then rolled left and impacted the ground while in a slight nose-up and left wing low attitude. An individual who owns a Cessna 337 heard both engines operating at what he thought was full power. The airplane impacted on the runway surface and was destroyed by impact and the postcrash fire. According to a witness, the pilot started the engines and taxied to utilize all available runway. The flight was cleared to takeoff, and according to a controller in the tower cab, he did not observe the point of rotation, but reported the airplane was in a normal climb attitude when the flight was airborne approximately 1,000 feet down the runway, when it was approximately 500 feet more down the length of the runway, he observed the airplane pitch up to between an estimated 30-45 degrees, then level off at an estimated altitude of between 150-200 feet above ground level. Approximately 5 seconds later, the wings were noted to rock up and down and the airplane drifted north of the runway. The airplane rolled nose and left wing low, then appeared to level off before impacting the ground while in a slight nose up and left wing low attitude. He did not hear any unusual engine sounds during the flight and could not determine if the engines were run-up before departure. Both engines' rpm sounded to be synchronized during the flight. There was no distress call made by the pilot. The owner recently purchased the airplane and had a pre-buy inspection of it; no discrepancies were noted related to the flight controls. The airplane was flown from the place where purchased (California), to Florida, and was delivered 2 days before the accident. The pilot who flew the airplane to Florida reported it was a "fairly flawless trip." He did report that the autopilot was inoperative, and the digital fuel flow meter was inoperative. No repairs were performed to correct the inoperative autopilot before the accident flight. The accident pilot flew the airplane on 3 separate flights earlier on the day of the accident, and during the takeoff of all 3 flights, a pilot rated passenger later reported that the airplane pitched up aggressively during rotation. The passenger looked at the elevator trim setting and noted it was in the correct range for takeoff. During the landing of the third leg, the accident pilot reportedly performed a full stall landing from a height of 10 feet. The airplane was then taxied to the ramp and both fuel tanks were topped off for the accident flight. No maintenance was performed to the elevator primary or secondary flight control systems as a result of the reported excessive pitch-up events. Examination of the primary and secondary flight control system of the airplane revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction of the cables. The elevator trim was found set to 4 to 5 degrees aircraft nose-down. The flaps were extended 10 degrees, and the landing gear was extended at impact. Examination of the front and rear engines propeller and propeller governors revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Examination of the pilot's seat tracks revealed both exhibited evidence of lock pin engagement at the time of impact in the 9th hole from the front. The airplane was calculated to be within weight and balance limits at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot's operation of the airplane with known deficiencies in equipment related to pitch, an abrupt pitch-up during the initial climb after takeoff for undetermined reasons and the failure of the pilot to maintain airspeed (Vs) resulting in inadvertent stall, uncontrolled descent, and in-flight collision with terrain.

Full narrative available

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