come over and take a “quick gander” at something before they wrote up the squawks as was the case with the leaky fuel drops on the right engine. It was determinedthere were a list of deferred maintenance items on the aircraft that included; repair loose cooling baffling on the right engine, tightening friction controls on the cockpit power quadrant adding cargo nets and straps to the aircraft flight kit, as well as inspecting and replacing first aid kits, adjusting the pilot’s seat springs and locking the travel adjustment slide on the pilot’s seat. It was determinedthat no VFR or IFR flight plan was filed nor a weather report provided to the mishap aircraft. Witness Interviews: WIT-1: Air Traffic Controller at TVL tower confirmed ATIS information to the mishap aircraft and provided taxi and take-off instructions. The ATC personnel advised the pilot that it was marginal VFR and asked if he was requesting an IFR clearance? Pilot stated no, he would pick up an IFR clearance enroute, if needed. The tower operator again commented the weather seemed to be really going down to the south and the mountain peaks were beginning to get obscured. “The pilot, replied, that he had better “scoot it on out of here.””The airport went officially IFR a short time after the mishap. The controller gave taxi clearance, watched the plane taxi directly to the hold short line, then request take-off. He did not observe any run-up prior to take-off. After take-off, he observed the plane use about ¾ length of the runway, rotate, then suddenly, to what he perceived, continue and enter an abrupt and very high angle of pitch. The controller then lost sight of the aircraft as it disappeared in the mist past the end of the runway. The controller advised the pilot to report clear, but never received a reply. About 10-15 minutes later the controller was advised by local law enforcement of a possible aircraft down south of the airport. WIT-2: The “Tahoe FBO Service” fuel attendant/line tech had, one hour prior to the departure, “topped off the tanks” and asked the pilot where he was going. The pilot stated it was a local flight of about 45 minutes, but wanted “extra gas” in case the clients wanted to go home to Burbank. The pilot seemed “rushed” and was getting “anxious” about the fast changing weather. The fuel truck driver also helped the pilot load four or five large, “like metal sea trunks marked photo gear” into the back passenger compartment of the plane. The fuel attendant asked where the tie down straps or netting was and the pilot stated he would secure the stuff later. The fuel attendant estimated the trunks had to be near 100 pounds each and were stacked on top of one another. WIT-3: A secretary for the Tahoe FBO Service said she greeted the passengers of the mishap flight and directed them to the ramp. She heard one the passengers jokingly tell the pilot to hurry-up or they would leave without him. The pilot approached the counter and paid the fuel bill with a company credit card.