NTSB Identification: LAX06FA197.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 07, 2006 in Reno, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2007
Aircraft: Beech H35, registration: N5455D
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.

The engine lost power during takeoff and the airplane collided with a house while returning to the airport. A certified flight instructor (CFI) and the airplane's owner (a student pilot) were onboard. The airplane climbed to 6,500 feet mean sea level after takeoff and was about 4 miles from the airport when a loss of engine power was reported. The CFI reported to air traffic control that the airplane would not be able to make it back to the airport and they were trying to find a safe place to land. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane flying low with the wings rocking back and forth, prior to entering a sharp left turn. The airplane then rolled to the left, nosed down, and impacted the house. Post accident examination of the engine and airframe revealed no mechanical anomalies, and the reason for the power loss was not determined. The student pilot's toxicological report showed positive results for metabolites of cocaine; however, it was unclear if or how the student pilot's use of cocaine contributed to the accident. Although the FAA was aware that the student had a history of felony conviction for substance possession, they did not obtain records to determine the circumstances of that conviction or to determine the identification of the substance.

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

Loss of engine power during takeoff initial climb for undetermined reasons, which resulted in a loss of control and impact with a house. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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