The pilot stated that on initial climb, at about 400 ft agl, the crew smelled something burning, followed by light smoke in the cabin. Both engines appeared normal visually. The odor and smoke increased, and the left fire warning light illuminated. The left engine was shut down & the prop feathered. The pilot increased power on the right engine; however, the airplane would not climb or maintain airspeed.
The aircraft’s left engine caught fire during the takeoff roll. The pilot managed to stop the aircraft on the runway and all 31 skydivers and the two member crew evacuated without injury. The left engine propeller had lost one blade which was found several days later 3000 feet west of the wreckage. There was no evidence found to substantiate compliance with a mandatory airworthiness directive on the propeller blade.
After returning from a parachute jumping flight, the pilot elected to land on the 1800 ft grass runway. A 3000 ft asphalt runway was available, but he had been using the grass runway to avoid wear on the tires. There was a 30 ft powerline at the approach end of the grass runway and the sod was wet. The pilot reported that there was light rain and the wind was calm. Reportedly, the plane touched down about 200 ft from the approach end, but the pilot was unable to stop on the runway. The aircraft continued off the end and collided with brush and trees. The computed landing distance over a 50 ft obstacle on a hard runway was about 1500 ft.