Date & Time: Jan 21, 1994 at 1445 LT
Type of aircraft:
Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III
Titusville - Titusville
United States of America
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Witnesses on the ground reported that the engines sounded normal while the airplane was taxiing to takeoff. After takeoff witnesses reported seeing white smoke trailing the left engine. The airplane was observed to bank to the left with a bank angle of about 90°. The airplane then pitched nose down, descended, and collided with trees and the ground. Examination of the left engine oil separator from the turbocharger assembly revealed that a section of pipe near a flange which is connected to the turbocharger oil outlet failed due to fatigue. There was no other failure or malfunction noted with the left or right engines and propellers. The mixture control arm on the left engine fuel control unit was found in the 'off' position. Additionally, the fuel selectors and magneto switches were also found in the 'off' position. A pilot-rated passenger occupied the left forward seat.
Failure of the pilot-in-command to maintain vmc resulting in the inflight loss of control. Contributing to the accident was the fatigue failure of a section of pipe adjacent to a flange which connects to the turbocharger oil outlet of the left engine assembly.