NTSB Identification: ATL91FA046.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44260.
Accident occurred Monday, February 04, 1991 in GREENSBORO, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N55263
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 STUDENT PILOT DEPARTED THE SMALL UNCONTROLLED AIRPORT AT MOUNT AIRY, NORTH CAROLINA, FOR A LOCAL FLIGHT. DURING THE FLIGHT, HE BECAME DISORIENTED AND LOST. THE FIRST AIRPORT THE STUDENT OBSERVED WAS THE PIEDMONT TRIAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, AND HE ATTEMPTED TO LAND ON RUNWAY 23. THE STUDENT PILOT ATTEMPTED TO LAND APPROXIMATELY 100 FEET BEHIND A DC-9 WHICH WAS LANDING ON RUNWAY 23 AT THE SAME TIME, ENCOUNTERED WAKE TURBULENCE, AND CRASHED ON THE SIDE OF THE RUNWAY. AFTER THE ACCIDENT, IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE STUDENT PILOT HAD A MALIGNANT TUMOR REMOVED FROM THE BRAIN ABOUT A YEAR EARLIER, AND WAS UNDER HEAVY MEDICATION FOR THE PROBLEM. IT WAS ALSO DISCOVERED THAT THE STUDENT PILOT WAS SUFFERING FROM PREVIOUSLY UNDIAGNOSED ACUTE DIABETES MELLITUS AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT.

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

AN ENCOUNTER WITH WAKE TURBULENCE WHICH RESULTED IN AN UNCONTROLLED DESCENT. AN ADDITIONAL CAUSE WAS PILOT'S PHYSIOLOGICAL CONDITIONS AND HIS USE OF MEDICATION.

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