On July 11, 2001, at 1030 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 310I, N8199M, was substantially damaged when it ran off the end of a taxiway and collided with a berm during takeoff at the Jackass Aeropark, Amargosa Valley, Nevada. The commercial pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted by the owner under 14 CFR Part 91. No flight plan had been filed and the intended destination was North Las Vegas, Nevada. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot was interviewed by an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Las Vegas Flight Standards District Office. The pilot stated that he attempted to depart on a runway heading 210 degrees. He stated that the left engine sputtered at some point during the takeoff roll. In the aircraft accident report received from the pilot, he stated the following: "At 80+ MPH the plane was still gaining speed when it started pulling to the left. In about 200 feet or 2 seconds the left wheel was about to leave the harder surface. At 85 MPH I lifted the plane off. With gear down probably dragging through the tops of scattered brush flying speed was not maintained. When the plane settled to the brushy ground I shut everything down."
The FAA inspector examined the airplane at the accident site. The airplane was resting 71 feet west of the single north/south runway. The main landing gear were found bent aft under the fuselage. The right main tire was separated and was found several feet to the right and behind the main wreckage. The nose gear tire was broken off and was found behind and to the right of the main wreckage. There was a 12-inch gash in the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer approximately halfway between the base and tip. Black marks were observed near the gash that corresponded to the tread pattern and dimensions of the nose gear tire. The main tanks were 3/4 full and the auxiliary tanks were full. The airplane was aligned with a taxiway that intersected the main runway at a 90-degree angle. The length from the beginning of the taxiway east of the runway to the berm on the runway edge was estimated to be 2,100 feet. There was damage noted to the berm on the runway edge on both sides; the damage consisted of impressions dimensionally similar to the landing gear of the airplane. The marks on the berm were aligned with the airplane's position to the east of the runway.
The FAA inspector returned to the site with a recovery crew. The crew dug trenches under the propellers so as to allow for the propeller to rotate freely. The damaged propeller tips were cutoff and the engines were started. The left engine started immediately and was run at up to 1,500 rpm. According to the inspector, the engine ran smoothly with no anomalies noted. The engine instruments remained within their respective normal operating ranges. The engine was then run up to 2,700 rpm. No difficulties were noted at this rpm setting. The magnetos were then checked at 2,100 rpm. Both magnetos worked and the engine continued to run smoothly on either one. The loss of rpm during the magneto check did not exceed 100. The right engine started just as quickly as the left one did. However, upon reaching 1,000 rpm, the engine began to shake. The engine was shutdown and inspected. It was determined that the crankshaft had been bent slightly and it was not safe to run the engine again.
According to a U.S. Government Airport Facility Directory (AFD), the airport had only one runway oriented to 320 degrees and 140 degrees, respectively. There was a 1- to 3-foot-high berm on both sides of the runway, running the full length of the runway, which was 6,200 feet. There were no other runways listed for the airport. The AFD also stated; "Possible damage to acft on twy due to debris on twy." According to the AFD's general information page, abbreviations section, the abbreviation "twy" stands for "taxiway" and "acft" stands for "aircraft." All of the taxiway and runway surfaces at the airport were dirt. The surface on which the pilot began his takeoff roll was bounded with blue taxiway markers. The airport elevation was 2,640 feet mean sea level. The airplane's takeoff weight was estimated to be 4,927 pounds, and the ambient air temperature was about 99 degrees Fahrenheit. The takeoff distance was calculated by an air safety investigator from the Cessna Aircraft Company. Under the estimated conditions at the time of the accident, a new Cessna 310 taking off on a level, dry hard surface runway would require 1,738 feet to become airborne, and 2,061 feet to clear a 50-foot obstacle. The accident airplane was built in 1964 and no allowances were made for the dirt surface on which the takeoff was attempted.