On October 20, 2001, at 0820 central daylight time, a Beech 58P, N701JK, piloted by a commercial pilot, received substantial damage during an aborted takeoff on runway 32 (5,681 feet by 100 feet, asphalt) at the Columbus Municipal Airport, Columbus, Nebraska. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight had an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan on file. The pilot and five passengers were uninjured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The pilot reported the following in a written statement, "Normal runup, normal takeoff. Shortly after takeoff the left engine lost power, about 30 percent. Aircraft was pulling to the left. Correction was made to straighten airplane with alignment to the runway. Plane did not seem to have enough power to sustain flight. Elected to put airplane on the ground between runway and taxi strip.

The passenger seated in the right side aft facing seat reported in a written statement, "We were taking off, just lifted off runway and an alarm went off in the cockpit, plane drifted slightly left and was put down on grass between runway..."

Another passenger stated the airplane did not attain an altitude higher than 10 feet agl during the takeoff.

The airplane landed gear-up and stopped approximately 300 feet west of the runway 14's approach end.

The pilot accumulated a total flight time of 1,600 hours of which 35 hours were in make and model of the accident airplane. Of the 35 hours of flight time in make and model, 1.5 hours were in the last 30 days. The pilot reported that he received a biennial flight review on September 9, 1999 and according to Federal Aviation Regulation 61.56 (c), "Except as provided in paragraphs (d), (e), and (g) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft unless, since the beginning of the 24th calendar month before the month in which that pilot acts as pilot in command, that person - (1) Accomplished a flight review given in an aircraft for which that pilot is rated by an authorized instructor..." According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, the pilot did not hold a current instrument proficiency check. The IFR flight plan for the accident flight had the pilot rated passenger's name listed as the pilot.

The pilot rated passenger held a airline transport pilot certificate and accumulated 10,000 hours at the time of issuance of his first class medical certificate on February 6, 2001. His weight was listed on his medical certificate as 245 lbs.

The maximum take off weight limits for a Beech 58P is 6,200 lbs. The airplane was weighed following the accident on certified scales in the presence of FAA inspectors. The inspectors noted that the total weight of the aircraft with fuel was 5,479 lbs. The five passengers reported their weights as follows: 222 lbs (pilot rated passenger), 270-280 lbs, 175 lbs, 170, and 165 lbs. In addition, there was a portable cooler aboard that was estimated to weigh 20 lbs. The pilot's weight was listed on his second class medical certificate as 208 lbs.

According to the FAA operations inspector, the pilot rated passenger reported that there were no abnormal engine indications during the takeoff.

FAA accident prevention program bulletin FAA-P-8740-5, Weight and Balance, states in part, "...An overloaded or improperly balanced aircraft will require more power and greater fuel consumption to maintain flight, and the stability and controllability will be seriously affected."

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