On February 14, 2009, about 1000 Pacific standard time, a Cessna T337/D, N86242, made a forced landing 0.5 miles north of Rialto Municipal Airport, Rialto, California. The airplane was operated by the owner under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot received minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that shortly after takeoff the airplane's climb performance deteriorated, and it felt like the airplane had lost thrust. The airplane climbed to 300 - 400 feet above ground level (agl), then made a right turn. The pilot said that the airplane was not climbing sufficiently to clear the rising terrain that was ahead. He executed a forced landing into a dirt field 1/2 mile north of the airport. The pilot did not state that he executed the published engine out emergency procedures.

The nearest aviation weather recording station was San Bernardino International Airport, which recorded at 1053: calm winds; 10 miles visibility; clouds scattered at 3,000 feet; and the temperature was 48 degrees F.

On February 25, 2009, the Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane. The front engine propeller exhibited chordwise scratches and blade tip curling, consistent with power production. The rear engine propeller exhibited a single gouge on one blade, and light chordwise scratches on the tip of the other blade. The top spark plugs were removed from the rear engine and thumb compression was achieved on all cylinders. The rear engine was rotated by hand and audible clicking of the magnetos could be heard. Fuel was observed in the engine driven fuel pump fuel input line. The spark plugs were replaced. The flap lever was set to 1/3 in the cockpit, and engine control continuity was established from the cockpit to both engines. The pilot reported that the weight of the airplane at the time of the accident was 3,836 pounds.

The area was cleared and the rear engine was started on the second attempt. The engine was run at 1,700 rpm for over 2 minutes, then ran up to 2,000 rpm, and the propeller cycled. Oil pressure was stable at 45 psi, and both magnetos were checked with a corresponding 50 rpm drop on each.

The Cessna 337 owner's manual states that at an aircraft weight of 3,800 pounds, outside air temperature of 59 degrees F, and sea level, the single engine climb performance (rear engine out) is 550 feet per minute rate of climb. The procedures for a continued takeoff with an engine out include retracting the flaps, retracting the landing gear, and feathering the propeller of the inoperative engine.

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