NTSB Identification: LAX03LA083.
On January 17, 2003, at 1030 Pacific standard time, a Beech 76, N5400M, collided with a snow bank during takeoff from the Tahoe-Truckee Airport (TRK), Truckee, California. The Palo Alto Flying Club was operating the rental airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and the private pilot under instruction PUI) were not injured. The cross-country instructional flight departed the Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County (PAO), Palo Alto, California, at 0845, en route to TRK. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
On February 5, 2003 the incident was upgraded to an accident after verification that the airplane had been substantially damaged.
According to the CFI, the purpose of the flight was to practice maneuvers. At TRK he briefed the PUI on the procedures for a simulated engine failure on takeoff, which included recovery procedures. The PUI aligned the airplane with the runway centerline. The PUI engaged the brakes, added partial power, and then full power. The PUI released the brakes, and the CFI leaned the left mixture to idle cut off. The CFI stated that the airplane yawed to the left, and the PUI "failed to pull the throttles to idle." The airplane collided with the snow bank. The CFI reported that prior to colliding with the snow bank, the right mixture was to idle cut off.
According to the PUI, they had conducted engine out procedures on the training flight from PAO. After landing the CFI suggested that, since the runway was 7,000 feet long, it would be a good airport to practice engine out procedures during the takeoff roll. There would be plenty of room to stop. The PUI stated that the CFI explained the "procedure of reducing power, using rudder to control direction, and stated that he would fail the left engine."
The PUI indicated that his understanding was that the "failure" would occur after they "were underway" in the air. He was surprised when the airplane veered to the left immediately after he started to add power. He was too slow in "reducing power, [and] fixated on rudder control."
Both pilots reported that there were no mechanical anomalies with the airplane.