NTSB Identification: CHI94FA329.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 15, 1994 in BEAVER ISLAND, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/16/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-250, registration: N13909
Injuries: 3 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.

THE AIRPLANE WAS OBSERVED FLYING LOW OVER TREES PERFORMING A SERIES OF PITCH UP AND DOWN MANEUVERS, TURNING LEFT AND RIGHT, THEN DESCEND STRAIGHT DOWN INTO TREES. THE ON-SCENE INVESTIGATION REVEALED NO AIRFRAME OR CONTROL SYSTEM FAILURE. THE COUNTY SHERIFF STATED HE DETECTED A STRONG ODOR OF ALCOHOL ON THE PILOT AND ONE PASSENGER DURING HIS ON-SCENE ACTIVITIES. THE PILOT'S AUTOPSY IDENTIFIED 0.06 GM OF ETHANOL PER 100 GM OF LIVER TISSUE.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE AIRPLANE. THE PILOT'S BUZZING AND HIS IMPAIRMENT OF JUDGMENT AND PERFORMANCE DUE TO ALCOHOL WERE FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT.

Full narrative available

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