On May 26, 2000, about 1630 hours Pacific daylight time, a Beech F33A, N2RM, was destroyed during the takeoff/initial climb from Columbia, California. The commercial rated pilot and non-rated passenger both received fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight operating under 14 CFR Part 91. No flight plan was filed. The originating flight was destined for Oakland, California, the airplane's base. The purpose for the landing at Columbia is unknown. Prior to landing at Columbia, the airplane had departed North Las Vegas, Nevada, at 1154, on a VFR flight plan destined for Columbia, by way of Beatty, Bishop, and Mammoth.

The Safety Board investigator talked by phone to witnesses that watched the airplane depart on runway 17. It became airborne about midfield and flew nose high 10/20 feet above the runway. Engine power was reduced, then reapplied, and the airplane crossed the runway end about 20 feet above ground level with the landing gear extended. One witness was sitting in an airplane doing an after maintenance run-up as he watched the accident airplane. The airplane collided with trees about 1,300 feet beyond the runway end. A postaccident fire erupted upon impact. One pilot witness reported the wind to be 290 degrees at 14 knots with a density altitude of 3,900 feet. Five telephonic witness interviews obtained by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector are also attached to this report.


The pilot's logbook was recovered from the wreckage. The logbook documented a commercial check ride for the issuance of the commercial rating on June 16, 1999, in a Cessna 172RG. It also documented the last flight for 1999 as August 28, 1999, in the accident airplane. The next documented flight was May 19, 2000, as a local flight with a route from Oakland to Grants Pass and Eugene, Oregon. The last page indicated a total flight time of 1,308.9 hours.


Airplane and engine logbook copies were obtained from the insurance company representative. According to the logbooks, the last recorded annual inspection occurred on June 14, 1999, at 2,763 total flight hours.

The engine was shipped to Continental Motors in Mobile, Alabama, for examination under the supervision of an FAA inspector from the Atlanta, Georgia, MIDO/MISO. According to the report, "this engine exhibits normal operational signatures throughout, except for the extensive fire and impact damages. All internal components appeared well lubricated. This engine did not exhibit any condition that would have caused an operational problem." The Continental report is attached.


The wreckage was located approximately 1,300 feet off the departure end of runway 17. In the vicinity of the wreckage damaged trees were noted. A postcrash fire consumed major portions of the airframe and all of the center section.

The propeller was buried in the ground with only the spinner back plate flange, severed engine flange, and parts of two of the three propeller blades visible. Examination of the propeller blades revealed one with a severed blade tip measuring about 8 inches, with the blade bent aft, and one blade with slight forward bending at the outboard 7 or 8 inches. The third blade had slight damage. Two of the three damaged blades were loose from their respective pitch change blocks.


On May 29, 2000, the Tuolumne County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the pilot. During the procedure, the FAA Civil Aeromedical Examiner in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, obtained samples for toxicological analysis. The results of the analysis were negative for carbon monoxide, volatiles, and drugs. Cyanide was detected in the blood sample at a level of 0.72 (ug/ml).


On June 13, 2001, the wreckage was released to the insurance company representative.

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