At about 1529 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed following a collision with trees and terrain shortly after takeoff. The commercial pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
A witness watched the airplane take off, reporting the takeoff roll seemed longer than normal, and the airplane climbed slowly. As the airplane approached trees located past the runway, it “pancaked” into the trees without rolling right or left. He then saw a plume of smoke and realized the airplane had crashed. The airplane was consumed in a post-crash fire. According to local maintenance personnel, the airplane was involved in an emergency landing in September 2012, following a loss of engine power. According to the aircraft records, a fuel injector line was subsequently replaced because of a broken fitting. Also, the propeller and propeller governor were overhauled during maintenance unrelated to the engine problem. Reportedly, this was the first flight for the airplane since the maintenance work was completed.