September 21, 2011, Truckee, Calif., Piper PA-23-250 Aztec


At about 0922 Pacific time, the airplane sustained substantial damage after impacting terrain following a loss of control during initial climb. The solo private pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to a witness, the airplane initially climbed to an altitude of between 50 and 100 feet agl before it began to veer to the left. The airplane then simultaneously pitched up to about a 30-degree angle, and then entered a left-wing-down, nose-down attitude. The airplane subsequently impacted terrain with its left wing and cartwheeled before coming to rest on the airport’s west parking ramp in an upright position. A post-crash fire consumed the cabin and cockpit areas, while the left wing was observed separated. The empennage remained intact.


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