NTSB Identification: WPR14LA194
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 17, 2014 in Fort Huachuca, AZ
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER 500 S, registration: N40TC
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 May 17, 2014, about 1020 Mountain standard time, an Aero Commander 500S, N40TC, impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Sierra Vista Municipal Airport – Libby Army Airfield, Fort Huachuca, Arizona (FHU). The pilot and certified flight instructor were seriously injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage throughout. The airplane was registered to, and operated by Ponderosa Aviation Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an orientation flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local area flight.

Witnesses reported they observed the airplane takeoff normally. When it was over the departure end of the runway, they heard a distinct "pop pop" noise followed by silence. The airplane immediately made a steep left turn; as the wings started to level, it descended below rising terrain. Shortly thereafter they observed a large dust cloud.

The airplane was removed to a secure location for further examination.

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