NTSB Identification: LAX91FA401.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46320.
Accident occurred Saturday, September 21, 1991 in PLACERVILLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N82857
Injuries: 1 Fatal,4 Serious.

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 FOUR PLACE AIRPLANE WAS LOADED WITH FIVE OCCUPANTS AND WAS DEPARTING A HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE AIRPORT EN ROUTE TO ANOTHER HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE AIRPORT FOR REFUELING. THE AIRPLANE EXCEEDED ITS MAXIMUM TAKEOFF GROSS WEIGHT. POSITIVE RESULTS WERE OBTAINED DURING THE TOXICOLOGIAL ANALYSIS ROUTINE ALCOHOL AND DRUG TESTS. THE PILOT TESTED POSITIVE FOR BENZOYLECGONINE, PHENDIMETRAZINE, AND PHENMETRAZINE. ACCORDING TO FORENSIC TOXICOLOGISTS, BENZOYLECGONINE IS A METABOLITE OF COCAINE. PHENDIMETRAZINE IS A CHEMICAL FOUND IN PRESCRIPTION APPETITE SUPPRESSANTS AND PHENMETRAZINE IS THE METABOLITE OF PHENDIMETRAZINE. THE FORENSIC TOXICOLOGIST ALSO INDICATED THE QUANTITIES OF PHENDIMETRAZINE AND PHENMETRAZINE FOUND IN THE PILOT'S SYSTEM WERE ELEVATED AND EXCEEDED THERAPEUTIC LEVELS.

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

THE PILOT'S ATTEMPTED TAKEOFF AT A HIGH DENSITY AIRPORT WITH THE AIRPLANE EXCEEDING ITS MAXIMUM GROSS TAKEOFF WEIGHT. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT'S USE OF ILLEGAL DRUGS AND ABUSE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.

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