NTSB Identification: CEN12FA058
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2011 in Alamosa, CO
Aircraft: CESSNA 337G, registration: N337LC
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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.
On November 11, 2011, at 1615 mountain standard time a Cessna 337G, N337LC, registered to LAMP Ministry LLC, of New Haven, Michigan, impacted the ground shortly after takeoff from the San Luis Valley Regional Airport/Bergman Field (ALS), Alamosa, Colorado. The airplane was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight’s intended destination was Harriet Alexander Field (ANK), Salida, Colorado.
The accident pilot, who had over 500 hours of flight time in the Cessna 337, had been flown to Alamosa by another ministry pilot on the morning of the accident. The pilot who dropped him off stated that the accident pilot was in good spirits and did not express any concerns. The airplane had been in Alamosa since October 15, 2011, undergoing an annual inspection. The flight was the first flight after the annual inspection. According to airport personnel, 35.1 gallons of fuel was added to the right wing, which topped the wing off. The pilot did not request fuel for the left tank. Local witnesses stated that the weather was cold and mild with little of no wind.
A witness located at the airport observed the pilot start the airplane (both engines). She did not see the airplane taxi or takeoff. Another witness, who was located south of the accident site, saw the airplane traveling east at a low altitude. Then he thought he heard the engine shut off and airplane went out of sight behind a stand of trees. The witness then heard a “pop”, then, another “pop.” Another witness, driving in a car nearby the accident site saw the airplane flying to the east when it suddenly lost altitude and nose dived toward the ground. This witness lost sight of the airplane behind trees and did not see the airplane impact the ground. There were no known witnesses who saw the airplane impact the ground.
The twin engine airplane’s fuselage was designed for the installation of two engines in tandem, one in front of the cabin and one engine behind the cabin. The airplane was equipped with retractable landing gear and a belly-attached cargo pod.
Initial observations of the wreckage by the investigation team showed evidence that the rear propeller was not producing power at impact and the fuel valve to the rear engine was observed to be in the closed position. There was evidence that the forward engine was producing power at the time of impact. Neither the uplocks nor downlocks for the main landing gear were engaged, but due to impact damage, the actual landing gear position at impact could not be confirmed. Flight control cable continuity was confirmed from the cabin floor under the front seats to each flight control. Control cable continuity could not be fully assessed on scene due to extreme impact and fire damage to the front of the airplane.
Due to the severe thermal damage resulting from a fuel fed post-impact fire, the airplane was moved to a facility for more detailed examinations of the airframe and engines. The observations from these examinations will be reported in the NTSB's final accident report.
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