NTSB Identification: ATL97FA060.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 19, 1997 in ATHENS, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: Beech C23, registration: N6005T
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.

An eyewitness near the accident site reported that an airplane was flying low over the city minutes before the accident. Another witness heard the sound of the engine, followed by the crashing sound of the airplane as it collided with trees and a house. According to the owner, at 2100, he parked the airplane (N6005T) on the ramp in front of the maintenance facility. The following morning, the owner arrived at the maintenance facility, and could not find his airplane. After learning of an aircraft accident in a nearby city, the owner traveled to the accident site and discovered that the accident airplane was his. Examination of the airframe failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction or a subsystem failure. Toxicology tests of the pilot revealed a blood/alcohol level of 180 mg/dl (0.180%) and an alcohol level of 245 mg/dl (0.245%) in vitreous fluid. The owner of the airplane stated that the keys for N6005T were still in his possession. The keys recovered from the ignition switch of N6005T showed an 'N' number of 6623P.

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

pilot impairment of judgment and performance, due to alcohol; and his failure to maintain sufficient altitude or clearance from obstacles, while maneuvering at low altitude at night. Darkness was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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