NTSB Identification: CHI99FA264.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 29, 1999 in DETROIT LAKES, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/20/2001
Aircraft: Beech C23, registration: N6996R
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.

A witness reported that the airplane lifted-off runway 13 (4,500 feet by 75 feet, dry/asphalt) approximately 600 feet from the end of the runway. The witness reported that that airplane climbed to an altitude of 150-200 feet above the ground before it began an increasing left banking turn. The witness stated that the airplane was climbing in a nose high pitch attitude and that the airplane's bank angle was approximately 50-60 degrees with the airplane's nose began to pitch down. The witness reported that the airplane's maximum nose-down pitch angle was 70-80 degrees at the time of the impact with terrain. No anomalies were found with the airframe structure or its systems that could be associated with a preexisting condition. No anomalies were found with the aircraft engine or its systems that could be associated with a preexisting condition. The active ingredient of marijuana (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and its metabolite substance (Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid) was found during a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Toxicology examination. The levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol and Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid found in the pilot's tissues and fluids would be consistent with the direct inhalation of marijuana less than one-hour before the time of the accident. According to the book entitled, 'Fit To Fly A Pilot's Guide to Health & Safety', author Richard O. Reingart MD, the active ingredient in marijuana is, '...THC (delta 9 tetra hydrocannibinal)....' The book continues, 'THC causes temporary euphoria and relaxation. However, more than alcohol, it distorts perception, weakens critical judgment, and interferes with the ability to concentrate. THC also increases heart rate and the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias. Short term memory is impaired, IQ is thought to be diminished, and there is a decrease in reaction time and tracking (similar to alcohol).'

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

Aircraft control not obtained/maintained by the pilot. A factor to the accident was the pilot's impairment due to drugs.

Full narrative available

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