February 14, 2012, Hollister, Calif., Beech G18 Twin Beech


At about 1340 Pacific time, the airplane departed the runway during takeoff and sustained structural damage to the left wing. The pilot and a passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot was to ferry the airplane to Australia the following day, with a planned intermediate stop in Hawaii. He had performed two test flights the day before the accident, noting slightly higher right-engine oil temperature and a shudder in flight that lasted for no more than a second or two. The pilot decided to undertake one more test flight, with a mechanic.

At about 30 feet agl, the right wing fell. The pilot believed the right engine had lost power, which he countered with aileron. The airspeed was below blue line and he did not have aileron control, so he immediately retarded the left engine to return to a wings-level attitude. The airplane landed hard on the left tire, which blew, and the airplane departed the runway and struck a grassy bank.


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