NTSB Identification: CHI96FA327.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 04, 1996 in TOMAHAWK, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Beech 23, registration: N2338Z
Injuries: 1 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 pilot took off from Tomahawk Regional airport at 2330. A witness heard an airplane take off, and a short time later, he heard the airplane flying along the runway. At 2340, the witness heard the airplane impact the trees. The witness went outside to search for the airplane but said he could not find it because of the dense fog in the area. During the course of the investigation, no mechanical failures nor malfunctions of the airframe, powerplant, or flight controls were discovered. The pilot's toxicological examination showed that 121.000 mg/dl ethanol was detected in the blood, 135.000 mg/dl ethanol was detected in the brain fluid, and 172.000 mg/dl ethanol was detected in the urine fluid. The pilot's student pilot certificate had expired.

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

the student pilot's impairment of judgment and performance due to alcohol which led to his initiation of VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions and loss of control. Factors were: the dark night and the weather conditions.

Full narrative available

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