NTSB Identification: FTW94FA031.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 10, 1993 in LONGVIEW, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N6651P
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 AIRPLANE WAS OBSERVED IN THE VICINITY OF THE GREGG COUNTY AIRPORT, FLYING AT 'NO MORE THAN 150 TO 200 FEET AGL. WITNESSES REPORTED THAT IT ENTERED A DESCENDING RIGHT TURN AS THE PILOT RADIOED A DISTRESS CALL, THEN IT CRASHED INTO TREES & TERRAIN. NO REDUCTION OF ENGINE POWER WAS NOTED BEFORE IMPACT, & NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE WAS FOUND. RECORDS OF THE PILOT INDICATED HE WAS ENROLLED IN A SUBSTANCE ABUSE & ALCOHOL PROGRAM. HE HAD BEEN DIAGNOSED AS SUICIDAL AFTER USE OF ALCOHOL, HAD A HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, & HIS LIFE HAD BECOME STRAINED AFTER FACING A NUMBER OF PERSONAL PROBLEMS. TOXICOLOGY TESTS OF THE PILOT FOR ETHANOL SHOWED 209 MG/DL IN BLOOD, 65 MG/DL IN VITREOUS FLUID, & 69 MG/DL IN URINE. DRUG TESTS SHOWED ACETALDEBYDE LEVELS OF 13 MG/DL IN BLOOD & 14 MG/DL IN URINE; 0.008 UG/ML OF TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL CARBOXYLIC ACID (METABOLITE OF MARIJUANA) WAS DETECTED IN THE PILOT'S URINE, BUT NONE WAS FOUND IN HIS BLOOD.

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

POOR JUDGMENT OF THE PILOT DUE TO IMPAIRMENT FROM CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL AND USE OF A DRUG (MARIJUANA), AND HIS FAILURE TO CORRECT A DESCENT, WHILE MANEUVERING AT LOW ALTITUDE. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE PILOT'S PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITION.

Full narrative available

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