NTSB Identification: DEN00LA163.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 02, 2000 in TOOELE, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/2001
Aircraft: Nicholson THORP T-18CWS, registration: N24WN
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Witnesses reported that they had seen the airplane doing aerobatics and that it was traveling around 125 to 150 knots, at about 100 to 150 feet above the ground when it went straight up, made a half turn, dropped tail first, rolled over into a dive and impacted the ground. An FAA inspector stated that his examination of the accident site indicated that the airplane impacted the ground in a near vertical attitude. The sheriff reported that the cockpit smelled of alcohol. Toxicology tests identified the pilot's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as .22% in muscle and .23% in kidney, three times Utah's legal intoxication level of .08%. The pilot was involved in a previous accident involving the same airplane, which received substantial damage when it collided with power lines during a precautionary landing. The Sheriff's Office report on the first accident states that, upon arriving at the site, the trooper could not locate the pilot. He reported evidence of alcohol at the scene, and stated that witnesses said the pilot appeared to be intoxicated.

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

Failure by the pilot to maintain control of the airplane during aerobatic maneuvers as a result of his alcohol impairment. Factors were: The pilot's inadequate planning and decision making and the inadequate altitude he choose for maneuvering.

Full narrative available

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