LAX94LA229
LAX94LA229

On May 30, 1994, at 1515 Pacific daylight time, a Beech 95-B55, N814U, collided with the ground following a loss of control during the takeoff initial climb at the Calexico International Airport, Calexico, California. The loss of control was precipitated by a loss of power in the left engine just after liftoff from the runway. The aircraft was owned and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the operation. The aircraft sustained substantial damage. The certificated commercial pilot and his one passenger were not injured. The flight was originating at the time for a local area personal flight to Brawley, California.

In a verbal statement, the pilot reported that the flight originated in Loretto, Mexico, and had made a stop at Calexico to clear U. S. Customs. The aircraft was on the ground for about 10 minutes. He said that after taxiing to the end of the runway he noticed a lull in the traffic and decided to immediately takeoff without performing a pretakeoff power or aircraft configuration check. The pilot said that he was reaching for the landing gear control just after liftoff when the left engine failed. The aircraft yawed and banked to the left and, before the pilot could regain control, the left wing tip contacted the ground. The aircraft cartwheeled to a stop off the left side of the runway.

The aircraft was examined by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors from the San Diego, California, Flight Standards District Office. The inspectors reported that the fuel quantity gauge selector switch was positioned to the main fuel tanks while the fuel selectors were positioned to the auxiliary fuel tanks. The left and right main fuel tanks contained 16 and 20 gallons, respectively, while the auxiliary tanks had less than 5 gallons. Fuel system continuity was established with no evidence of postaccident leakage noted.

The pilot noted that he did not have the boost bump switches selected to the low position during the takeoff ground roll. According to the pilot operating handbook for the aircraft, low boost pump should be selected when the outside air temperature exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit or when fuel pressure fluctuations exist. The prevailing outside air temperature was reported to be 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

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