NTSB Identification: LAX90FA070.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42886.
Accident occurred Thursday, January 18, 1990 in BURBANK, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N8251B
Injuries: 4 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 ACFT WAS SCHEDULED FOR A NGT INSTRUMENT TRAINING FLT WITH 2 ADDITIONAL PLTS ABOARD, WHO WERE SEEKING INSTRUMENT RATINGS. SHORTLY AFTER TAKING OFF FROM RWY 7, THE INSTRUCTOR (CFI) RADIOED TO THE TOWER THAT AN IMMEDIATE LNDG WAS NECESSARY, BUT HE DID NOT GIVE A REASON. THE FLT WAS CLRD TO LAND. THE ACFT WAS THEN OBSERVED TO ENTER A STEEP LEFT TURN AT LOW ALT & DESCEND ABRUPTLY. IT CRASHED IN A STEEP DESCENT ABOUT 500 FT NORTH OF RWY 7 ON A HEADING OF ABOUT 260 DEG. IMPACT OCCURRED IN A LEFT WING LOW, NOSE DOWN ATTITUDE. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE ACFT OR ENG WAS FOUND. TESTS OF THE CFI'S BLOOD SHOWED THAT IT CONTAINED 1 NG/ML OF DELTA-9-TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL (A PSYCHOACTIVE COMPONENT OF MARIJUANA) & 7 NG/ML OF DELTA-9-TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL CARBOXYLIC ACID (A METABOLITE OF MARIJUANA). GROSS WT OF THE ACFT WAS ESTIMATED TO BE 2411 LBS; ITS MAX CERTIFIED GROSS WT WAS 2325 LBS.

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

POOR JUDGEMENT OF THE INSTRUCTOR PILOT (CFI) DUE TO HIS IMPAIRMENT FROM USE OF MARIJUANA, INADEQUATE SUPERVISION OF THE FLIGHT BY THE CFI, AND HIS FAILURE TO ASSURE THAT ADEQUATE AIRSPEED WAS MAINTAINED, WHICH RESULTED IN AN INADVERTENT STALL. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE CFI'S INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT PLANNING/PREPARATION, AND HIS FAILURE TO ASSURE THE AIRCRAFT WAS WITHIN ITS CERTIFIED GROSS WEIGHT LIMIT.

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