NTSB Identification: SEA96LA146.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 07, 1996 in ST MARIES, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/28/1997
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-5B, registration: N28452
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.

About three days before the accident, complaints of low-flying were reported to the local sheriff's office concerning the airplane (N28452). On the day of the accident, witnesses saw the airplane flying at 'tree height' (about 60 feet above the surface) along the St. Joe River. The witnesses reported that the airplane struck a power line, which crossed the river, knocking the line into the water. They said that following the wire strike, flames erupted from the airplane, and it continued about one mile before striking a second power line and crashing. A toxicology test of the pilot's blood revealed 0.028 mcg/ml of tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana) and 0.093 mcg/ml of tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (metabolite of marijuana). A test of his urine revealed 0.869 mcg/ml of tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid.

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 a drug (marijuana), and his failure to see-and-avoid power lines. The pilot's intentional low altitude flight was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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