On March 2, 1998, at 1230 hours Pacific standard time, a Cessna 310C, N608G, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain following takeoff from the William J. Fox Airport, Lancaster, California. There were minor injuries to the commercial pilot and one passenger and no damage to ground structures or surrounding terrain.

The pilot stated to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that after the right engine stopped at an altitude of approximately 300 feet agl, the decision was made to land straight ahead with the gear down rather than attempt a single engine closed traffic pattern.

Upon examination of the aircraft cockpit following the forced landing, the FAA inspector found both mixture controls in an intermediate lean position. When he interviewed the pilot as to why that position was used for takeoff, she stated that her aircraft mechanic had told her to do it that way. No other airframe discrepancies were noted and the aircraft had been refueled prior to takeoff.

An examination of the aircraft engines was conducted and no evidence of mechanical malfunction was found in either engine. Both rotated freely, had thumb compression on all cylinders with corresponding valve action, and ignition was verified to all sparkplugs. There was no contamination found in the fuel systems and the engine oil was clear for both. The spline drive on the right engine driven fuel pump was found partially severed and there was rust on the inside of the pump housing. However, the pump was flow tested using an electric drill to turn it and it pumped a solid stream of fuel with no cavitation bubbles visible.

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