NTSB Identification: DEN00FA067.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 25, 2000 in ROSWELL, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N6251B
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 solo instructional flight departed the airport northbound and climbed to 1,500 feet agl. Radar data indicates that the student pilot flew by her home, and the airplane slowed from approximately 95 knots to 47 knots ground speed (the headwind was estimated to be 6 to 8 knots). The airplane's stall speed was 48 knots. The airplane accelerated back to approximately 95 knots and turned southeast bound. As the pilot passed her home the second time, she again slowed the airplane to 47 knots ground speed (her estimated tail wind was 2 to 6 knots). Radar data indicates that the airplane then turned left and began to descend at approximately 4,500 fpm. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane flying eastbound, wings level, and descending to between 75 to 150 feet agl. One witness said he did not remember hearing any engine noise. Then he saw 'the left wing dip very rapidly, and the plane became almost vertical.' At the same time, he remembers hearing the airplane's engine 'really power up.' Toxicological reports indicate that the student pilot had four times the maximum recommended concentration of the drug sertraline (trade name Zoloft) in her. Zoloft is a prescription antidepressant, and is not approved by the FAA for pilots to take while on flight status.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control and the subsequent inadvertent stall/spin. A factor was the pilot's diverted attention to over flying her residence.

Full narrative available

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