December 8, 2012, Lake Worth, Fla. – Cessna 421C Golden Eagle


At 1334 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with trees and terrain following a loss of control after takeoff. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight followed an annual inspection and repainting. According to the mechanic, the pilot performed a ground run of the airplane for several minutes before taxiing for takeoff. The airplane lifted off about halfway down the runway and climbed at a “normal” rate. The mechanic then observed the airplane suddenly yaw to the left “for a second or two” and the airplane’s nose continued to pitch up before rolling left and descending vertically, nose-down, until it disappeared from view.

Examination of the main landing gear actuators revealed positions consistent with a down-and-locked configuration. All three propeller blades of the left engine were attached at the hub, and in the “feathered” position. One blade of the right engine was separated and not recovered. The remaining blade hubs showed positions consistent with low pitch.


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