NTSB Identification: CHI95LA229.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 20, 1995 in GRAND HAVEN, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/25/1997
Aircraft: DARRELL FALCONAR F9, registration: N218DA
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Witnesses reported that the airplane departed runway 9 and was about 1,500 feet from the runway when it appeared to stall. The co-owner of the plane also witnessed the accident. He noted that the airplane was in a nose-high attitude and was 'climbing too steep.' Also, a witness reported that the engine 'never missed a beat' and sounded good. During impact, the airplane hit a power line, tree(s), and the ground. The pilot had logged only 1 hour of flight time in the accident aircraft, which was also the total number of hours he had logged in the last 90 days. Examination of the airplane revealed continuity of the engine and flight controls. All the engine accessories were intact. There were 5 gallons of aviation fuel on board. A toxicology test of the pilot's blood revealed 0.119 mcg/ml Propoxyphene (Darvon), 0.937 mcg/ml Norpropoxyphene (metabolite of Propoxyphene), and 8.3 mcg/ml Acetaminophen (ingredient of Tylenol). The prescription drug, Propoxyphene, is a narcotic pain reliever that is not approved for use while flying an airplane.

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

Failure of the pilot to maintain adequate airspeed during the climb after takeoff, which resulted in an inadvertent stall. Factors relating to the accident were: the pilot's use of an unapproved drug while flying, his lack of experience in the make and model of airplane, and his lack of recent flight experience.

Full narrative available

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