NTSB Identification: IAD96LA122.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 25, 1996 in PHILIPPI, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 150L, registration: N21953
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 stated that she saw the pilot taxi up, get out of the airplane, and asked for fuel. She stated that she thought she had noted a smell of alcohol on his breath, but was not sure. As the pilot was leaving, the witness told the pilot that the nose tire looked as if it was flat, but the pilot appeared to ignored her. Also, another witness at the airport wondered if the pilot had been drinking. One of the witnesses stated that on takeoff, the nose of the airplane seemed excessively high. Both witnesses thought the airplane was going to stall. Minutes later, witnesses saw the airplane flying low over the pilot's son's house. After making one pass and returning, witnesses stated that they saw the airplane impact the top of a tree, fly out of sight, and then heard the sound of an impact. The son arrived on scene, removed the pilot from the wreckage, and attempted CPR, but to no avail. Toxicology tests showed the pilot's blood and urine had alcohol levels of 123 mg/dl and 206 mg/dl, respectively.

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 alcohol, his resultant improper planning/decision, and his failure to maintain sufficient altitude/clearance from trees, while maneuvering at low altitude. Intentional maneuvering at low altitude was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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