NTSB Identification: LAX94FA065.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 04, 1993 in PAYSON, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/11/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-150, registration: N4417Z
Injuries: 2 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 PILOT LANDED AT PAYSON, ATE BREAKFAST, REFUELED HIS AIRPLANE & DEPARTED. A WITNESS NOTED NOTHING UNUSUAL AS THE AIRPLANE CLIMBED. IT WAS NOT IDENTIFIED ON RADAR, & THERE WERE NO WITNESSES TO THE ACCIDENT. THE AIRPLANE WAS FOUND IN A RAVINE NEAR THE TOP OF A BOX CANYON, ABOUT 8.5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF PAYSON. THERE WAS EVIDENCE THAT IT HAD CRASHED WHILE DESCENDING IN A NOSE LOW ATTITUDE. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION WAS FOUND. THE PROPELLER BLADES WERE DEFORMED WITH S-SHAPED BENDS, LEADING EDGE GOUGES & CHORD-WISE SCRATCHES. THERE WAS EVIDENCE THE PLANE WAS LOADED AT OR NEAR ITS MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT LIMIT & THAT IT HAD STALLED. TOXICOLOGY TESTS OF THE PILOT'S BLOOD SHOWED 0.065 UG/G OF DIHYDROCODEINE & 25 UG/G OF SALICYLATE (ASPIRIN). DIHYDROCODEINE & SALICYLATE WERE ALSO DETECTED IN HIS URINE.

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

IMPROPER IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION BY THE PILOT, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED, WHICH RESULTED IN AN INADVERTENT STALL/SPIN. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: PILOT IMPAIRMENT FROM IMPROPER USE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS (NOT APPROVED FOR FLYING), RISING TERRAIN, AND BOX CANYON.

Full narrative available

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