NTSB Identification: ATL97LA073.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, May 20, 1997 in SOUTHERN PINES, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/1998
Aircraft: Capstaff CHALLENGER II, registration: NONE
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane collided with power lines after takeoff and crashed into a pond. According to witnesses, the airplane was seen flying 1 to 2 feet above the ground before it struck the power lines. When it collided with the power lines, the passenger stated 'there was a loud pop and the plane went belly up'. The passenger was able to escape the aircraft, but he reported that he was unable to release the pilot's lap belt. The pilot received multiple mild internal injuries and drowned. The pilot's toxicological report revealed 186.000 mg/dl ethanol in blood, and 218.000 mg/dl ethanol in vitreous fluid.

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 which led to his failure to maintain clearance from obstacles.

Full narrative available

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