NTSB Identification: CHI90FA185.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42672.
Accident occurred Saturday, July 14, 1990 in GRAND MARAIS, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N6146W
Injuries: 3 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.

CAMPING COMPANIONS OBSERVED THE PLT & 2 PASSENGERS AWAKE & DRINKING BEER BETWEEN 0200 & 0300 CDT. ANOTHER PLT RPRTD THEY WERE AT THE AIRPORT, PREPARING FOR A FLT AT ABOUT 0630 CDT. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE PLANE CRASHED IN A WOODED AREA ON HILLY TERRAIN. THE WRECKAGE WAS FOUND AT 1930 CDT ON 7/15/90 BY A HELICOPTER SEARCH CREW. THERE WAS EVIDENCE THE ACFT HAD ENTERED THE TREES WHILE DSCNDG IN A NEAR 90 DEG BANK. NO FUEL WAS FOUND IN THE TANKS, BUT THE ACFT WAS EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED DURING IMPACT. ALSO, NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE ACFT WAS VERIFIED. TOXICOLOGY CHECKS OF THE PLT'S BLOOD, VITREOUS FLUID & URINE SHOWED ALCOHOL LEVELS OF 0.068%, 0.1% & 0.13% (68, 100 & 130 MG/DL), RESPECTIVELY.

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

POOR JUDGEMENT OF THE PILOT DUE TO HIS IMPAIRMENT FROM CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: PILOT FATIGUE DUE TO LACK OF SLEEP.

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