At 1525 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed following a loss of engine power and an uncontrolled descent shortly after takeoff. The two Commercial pilots aboard were fatally injured; visual conditions prevailed. At takeoff, the airplane accelerated smoothly and rotated at a point along the runway that was later than usual, according to witnesses. The airplane pitched nose-up about 20 to 30 degrees in the climb, and the airplanes landing gear retracted. When the airplane reached treetop height, black smoke trailed from the engine exhaust system, the engine sputtered and then stopped producing power. The airplane entered a smooth roll to the left, yawed left, then plunged to the ground, near vertically. The witnesses said that the climb, and the turn after the loss of engine power, were performed at a very high deck angle.