NTSB Identification: CHI96LA210.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 24, 1996 in LE SUEUR, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/28/1997
Aircraft: FARLAND GENESIS, registration: N9274S
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.

A witness reported the student pilot did a thorough preflight inspection and that the engine sounded good during run-up. The airplane climbed to about 100 feet AGL after takeoff and made a 180 degree turn. It then veered to the right and gradually lost altitude to 60 feet. The airplane suddenly nosed over and impacted the ground. Examination of the airplane revealed that the flight controls and engine exhibited continuity. Damage indicated the airplane impacted the ground in a nose low attitude. A toxicology test of the pilot's blood showed 0.493 mcg/ml Chlorpheniramine, and 0.324 mcg/ml Diphenhydramine. Chlorpheniramine and Diphenhydramine are antihistamines, which can result in drowsiness; the quantities found were many times the therapeutic levels. Also, an unspecified level of Diazepam (generic name for Valium) was detected in the pilot's blood and liver fluid. None of these drugs were approved for use while operating an aircraft. The student pilot had only about three hours of flight time in the make and model of airplane, and he had not been endorsed by a flight instructor to fly the airplane. The pilot had a history of obstructive sleep apnea, which was under evaluation. A witness reported the pilot had complained of a splitting headache on the night before the accident.

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

the pilot's impairment of judgment and performance due to drugs, and his failure to maintain control of the airplane, which resulted in an uncontrolled descent and collision with terrain. Factors related to the accident were: the pilot's limited aeronautical experience and limited experience in the make and model of the accident airplane, which likely had different flying characteristics from the airplane in which he trained.

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