NTSB Identification: FTW94FA104.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, March 15, 1994 in BATTLEMENT MESA, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/11/1995
Aircraft: BEECH 95-B55B, registration: N9HC
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS BEFORE THE ACCIDENT, THE PILOT HAD DINNER WITH FRIENDS AND CONSUMED ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. LATER, HE AND HIS FRIENDS BECAME SEPARATED. AT ABOUT 0030 MST, A TAXICAB DRIVER MET THE PILOT AND DROVE HIM TO THE AIRPORT, ARRIVING ABOUT 0200. THE DRIVER DESCRIBED THE PILOT AS BEING 'HAMMERED,' BUT SAID HE SLEPT DURING THE TRIP TO THE AIRPORT. THE PILOT TOLD THE DRIVER HE WAS GOING TO GET IN THE AIRPLANE AND 'SLEEP IT OFF' BEFORE DEPARTING. A WITNESS, LOCATED 5 MILES WEST OF THE AIRPORT, REPORTED AN AIRPLANE MADE LOW DIVING PASSES OVER HER RESIDENCE BETWEEN 0235 AND 0305. THE WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED TWO DAYS LATER AT THE 10,550 FOOT LEVEL OF A MESA, ABOUT 12 MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE AIRPORT. TOXICOLOGY TESTS FOR ETHANOL IN THE PILOT'S BLOOD AND BILE DISCLOSED LEVELS OF 200 AND 220 MG/DL (0.20% & 0.22%), RESPECTIVELY.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

IMPAIRED JUDGEMENT AND PERFORMANCE OF THE PILOT BY FLYING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL THAT RESULTED IN HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CLEARANCE (OR ALTITUDE) FROM TERRAIN, WHILE FLYING AT NIGHT.

Full narrative available

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