NTSB Identification: IAD99FA020.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 21, 1998 in EDGEWATER, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Burgess RV-6, registration: N956DB
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.

While descending for a landing at night, the airplane struck trees initially before it impacted in Beard's Creek. There were several witnesses who heard an airplane over fly their homes at a low altitude, but they did not see the airplane. One of the witnesses reported that it was dark, and she heard an airplane engine sputtering, and a 'loud crackling sound' in what she stated sounded like an airplane hitting trees. Another witness said he saw an airplane flying just above the trees near to the airport. He felt that the airplane was 'extremely low.' Tree imprints were found on the leading edge of both wings. The airplane's left wingtip was found below the severed trees. Search efforts located the airplane, about 0300, the following morning in Beard's creek. The airplane came to rest inverted in about 18 feet of water, and 4 feet of mud about 1/4 mile off mile off the extended centerline of runway 30. The engine was test run and it operated satisfactory. Examination of the airplane did not disclose any evidence of mechanical malfunction. According to the pilot's log book there was no record to indicate that he had flown to this airport. Toxicological testing revealed the following drugs: Cimetidine detected in Urine; Sildenafil detected in Liver Fluid; Sildenafil Metabolite detected in Urine; 10 (ug/ml, ug/g) Theophylline detected in Urine.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate altitude/clearance from the trees. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's unfamiliarity with the geographic location and dark night conditions.

Full narrative available

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