NTSB Identification: FTW91FA038.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44650.
Accident occurred Friday, February 15, 1991 in FALFURRIAS, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-300, registration: N6961C
Injuries: 5 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 LOW-TIME PRIVATE PILOT ATTEMPTED AN APPROACH TO LAND WITH WINDS FROM 070 DEGREES AT 17, GUSTING TO 25 KNOTS, THAT EXCEEDED THE CROSS WIND LANDING CAPABILITY OF THE AIRCRAFT. HE HAD HIS FLAPS SET AT TEN DEGREES. EYEWITNESSES OBSERVED THE AIRCRAFT ATTEMPTING A GO-AROUND AND VIEWED IT TURNING DOWNWIND AT A LOW ALTITUDE OVER THE AIRPORT TERMINAL AND RAMP. THEY STATED THAT IT BANKED APPROXIMATELY NINETY DEGREES TO THE LEFT BEFORE IT DESCENDED UNCONTROLLED AND IMPACTED THE TERRAIN. A LEFT WING FUEL CELL RUPTURED UPON IMPACT AND FUEL IGNITED AS THE AIRCRAFT SLID OVER THE GROUND AND ONTO ANOTHER RUNWAY WHERE IT BURNED. TOXICOLOGICAL TEST RESULTS WERE POSITIVE FOR PRESCRIPTION ANTIHISTAMINES WITH SEDATIVE ADDED. THE SUPERVISOR FORENSIC TOXICOLOGY RESEARCH SECTION AT CAMI STATED THE AMOUNTS WERE ABOVE THERAPEUTIC LEVELS THAT WOULD HAVE IMPACTED PILOT PERFORMANCE.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER COMPENSATION FOR WIND CONDITIONS, THE PILOT NOT MAINTAINING AIRSPEED ABOVE VS DURING THE GO-AROUND ATTEMPT AND THE PILOT'S IMPAIRMENT DUE TO DRUGS. FACTORS WERE THE GUSTING CROSSWIND CONDITIONS AND THE PILOT'S LACK OF TOTAL AIRCRAFT EXPERIENCE.

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