NTSB Identification: WPR12LA104
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 14, 2012 in Hollister, CA
Aircraft: BEECH G18, registration: VHNWB
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 14, 2012, about 1340 Pacific standard time, a foreign-registered (Australia) Beech Aircraft Corp. G18-S, VH-NWB, departed runway 31 at Hollister Municipal Airport (CVH), Hollister, California. The pilot operated the airplane under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a test flight. The airplane sustained structural damage to the left wing. The pilot and a passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight, and no flight plan had been filed.

According to the pilot, he was to ferry the airplane to Australia the following day with a planned intermediate stop in Hilo, Hawaii. He had performed two test flights the day before the accident without incident. The pilot reported that on that flight the right-hand engine had a slightly higher oil temperature indication and a shudder in flight that lasted for no more than a second or two. After landing he made some inquiries about the oil and learned that the left-hand engine had previously run a higher oil temperature, but it was not outside the operating limitations.

The pilot decided to undertake one more test flight prior to fueling for his flight to Hilo. He also decided to take the mechanic with him on the accident flight to view the oil gauge and feel the shudder; there was no high oil temperature indication on the ground. As the airplane began its takeoff roll, the pilot indicated that it was not as perfect as the earlier flights. Around 100 miles per hour, the main wheels lifted off the ground, and the speed continued to increase during climb out.

About 30 feet above the ground, the pilot stated that without notice the right wing fell. He believed that the right engine had lost some power, which he countered with aileron. The pilot stated that the airspeed was below blue line and he did not have aileron control, so he immediately retarded the left engine to return to a wings level attitude. The airplane landed hard on the left tire, which blew, and the airplane departed the runway and struck a grassy bank.

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