According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Safety Inspector that arrived at the scene shortly after the accident, he located the uninjured pilot in command (PIC) and a passenger rated pilot who were the only occupants of the airplane. The inspector reported that the PIC told him that he had fueled the airplane prior to the flight. The PIC told the inspector that he had flown 2.5 hours on the right tank which indicated 3.9 gallons of fuel remained per the electronic fuel quantity indicator, at which time he switched to the left tank which indicated 15 gallons of fuel remained per the electronic fuel quantity indicator.
Prior to the flight, the pilot fueled the airplane with 16 gallons of jet fuel. He planned to make two local flights carrying skydivers aloft. During the second skydiving flight, he delayed releasing the skydivers due to traffic in the area. As he turned the airplane back toward the drop zone, the airplane’s engine experienced a total loss of power.
The airplane failed to gain altitude and settled into the ground during the takeoff initial climb. The firewall buckled during the ground contact. The pilot said that just after takeoff, the airspeed decreased to 60 knots and the airplane was 300 feet above ground level. He was unable to recover the airspeed and he touched down in a field.
The airplane initiated a forced landing after a partial loss of engine power during the takeoff initial climb. During the initial run-up the magneto check was not within acceptable limits; however, approximately 15 minutes later the pilot rechecked the magnetos and they were within acceptable limits. The pilot said he configured and checked the airplane prior to takeoff with 10 degrees of flaps and all gages “in the green.”
The pilot of the skydiver dropping aircraft reported that the engine lost power at the end of his descent from the 12,000-foot drop altitude as the airplane approached a landing 3-mile base leg. When the engine lost power, he checked that the fuel selector was in the “both” tanks position, the mixture was in the “rich” position, and checked individual magnetos; all with no effect.