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On May 18, 1996, at 1144 hours Pacific daylight time, a Beech 58, N58KD, owned and operated by the pilot, experienced a loss of right engine power during takeoff from the Whiteman Airport, Los Angeles, California. The airplane collided with terrain near the airport and was substantially damaged. Neither the private pilot nor the two passengers were injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the personal flight which was originating at the time of the accident.
The local air traffic controller reported that seconds after the airplane became airborne from runway 12, the pilot reported he was losing power in his right engine. The controller cleared the pilot to land using any runway. The controller stated that he did not hear an acknowledgment from the pilot, but he did observe the airplane in a descending right turn. The pilot made a forced landing in rough terrain near the 15th hole of the Hanson Dam golf course.
In the pilot's completed accident report, he indicated that in preparation for his personal flight to Santa Ynez with his wife and daughter, he had arrived at the Whiteman Airport around 1100. Sixty gallons of fuel were added (30 gallons per wing tank) to the hangared airplane, and the three fuel sumps were drained with no evidence of contaminants.
The pilot further reported that both engines started normally, and no discrepancies were observed during the pre-takeoff engine and propeller checks. The pilot reported that during takeoff the airplane "lifted off the runway at the same approximate location we normally do," a positive rate of climb was established, and the landing gear was retracted. Suddenly and without warning, the right engine lost all power, and the right engine's fuel flow indicator read 0 gallons per hour. The pilot turned on the fuel boost pump for the right engine, but the engine did not restart. The pilot said he then feathered the right engine's propeller, made a slight left turn toward the golf course, and tried to maintain altitude. The pilot further reported that he then unfeathered the right engine's propeller, pushed the right throttle forward and turned the boost pump on (again). None of these actions restored the engine's power, and the airplane did not maintain altitude.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness inspectors reviewed the airplane's maintenance records and examined the airframe and engine. The FAA found no evidence of fuel contamination, and reported that the "aircraft tear down revealed no abnormal conditions or findings."
The following right engine components were removed and examined under FAA supervision: the fuel pump and drive coupling; the throttle/fuel control metering unit; the manifold valve; and the injector lines and nozzles. Following the examinations, the FAA reported that no discrepancies were found with any of these components.