NTSB Identification: SEA93FA179.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 21, 1993 in LAKE FORK, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1994
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N75644
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.

AFTER LANDING, THE AIRCRAFT WAS REFUELED. WHEN IT WAS IDENTIFIED AS BEING STOLEN, THE PILOT HURRIEDLY RETURNED TO THE PLANE, STARTED THE ENGINE, TAXIED TO THE RUNWAY, & MADE AN INTERSECTION TAKEOFF. AFTER TAKEOFF, THE AIRCRAFT WAS SEEN CLIMBING NORTH TOWARD MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. SUBSEQUENTLY, IT COLLIDED WITH A STEEP/WOODED SLOPE IN THE MOUNTAINS. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE AIRCRAFT WAS FOUND THAT WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN THE ACCIDENT. LOCAL PILOTS REPORTED THAT THE MOUNTAIN TOPS WERE OBSCURED BY WEATHER AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. TOXICOLOGY TESTS OF THE PILOT SHOWED ALCOHOL LEVELS OF 68 MG/DL (0.068%) IN HIS BLOOD, 89 MG/DL (0.089%) IN INVITREOUS FLUID, & 115 MG/DL (0.115%) IN HIS URINE, AND 0.147 UG/ML OF ALPRAZOLAM IN HIS BLOOD. THERE WAS EVIDENCE THAT THE PILOT'S SEAT BELT WAS NOT USED; HIS BODY WAS EJECTED FROM THE AIRPLANE DURING IMPACT.

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

POOR JUDGMENT OF THE PILOT BY FLYING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND A DRUG, HIS CONTINUED FLIGHT INTO AN AREA OF ADVERSE WEATHER, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE CLEARANCE (OR ALTITUDE) FROM MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE HIGH (MOUNTAINOUS) TERRAIN, AND THE LOW CLOUDS/CEILING.

Full narrative available

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