NTSB Identification: FTW00FA053.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 27, 1999 in MCALESTER, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/2001
Aircraft: Mooney M20K, registration: N5697N
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.

The airplane impacted heavily wooded and rocky terrain during an uncontrolled descent from cruise climb in night visual meteorological conditions. Toxicological tests were positive for tramadol at therapeutic concentrations, and phenobarbital, nordiazepam, chlorepheniramine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine. The pilot had a history of substance abuse. It is reasonable to conclude that the pilot was impaired by the use of or withdrawal from the effects of such medications at the time of the accident. The airplane's left wing speed brake was found in the stowed position, and the right wing speed brake was found deployed. FAA verified that flight test results provided by the speed brake manufacturer indicated no significant effect on handling qualities with one speed brake deployed. No evidence of an in-flight fire was found at the accident site. No evidence of uncorrected discrepancies was found in the maintenance records. No evidence of an in-flight mechanical and/or flight control malfunction was found that would have rendered the airplane uncontrollable prior to the impact.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control. Factors were the pilot's impairment (drugs), the deployed right speed brake, and the night conditions.

Full narrative available

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