NTSB Identification: LAX89FA165.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39137.
Accident occurred Thursday, April 20, 1989 in STOCKTON, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/1990
Aircraft: ROBINSON R22 BETA, registration: N26198
Injuries: 2 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.

AFTER AN EVENING OF SOCIALIZING, THE PLT & PAX ELECTED TO GO ON A LOCAL FLT IN THE EARLY MORNING HRS BEFORE SUNRISE. THEY TOOK THE HELICOPTER (N26198) WITHOUT PROPER AUTHORIZATION & TOOK OFF DRG DARKNESS. A SHORT TIME LATER, THE HELICOPTER WAS OBSERVED FLYING AT LOW ALTITUDE IN AN ERRACTIC MANNER. SUBSEQUENTLY, IT COLLIDED WITH A POWER LINE, THEN HIT THE ROOF OF A BUILDING, CRASHED TO THE GROUND & BURNED. NO PREEXISTING AIRFRAME OR ENGINE MALFUNCTION WAS FOUND DRG THE INVESTIGATION. TOXICOLOGY CHECKS OF BLOOD & URINE SAMPLES WERE MADE. THE CHECKS SHOWED THE PLT & PAX HAD BLOOD/ALCOHOL LEVELS OF 0.17% & 0.11% (GRAMS%), RESPECTIVELY. A DRUG SCREEN OF FLUID FROM THE PLT SHOWED COCAINE/BENZOYLECGONINE LEVELS OF 0.19 MG/L. TOXICOLOGY CHECKS CONCERNING THE PAX WERE NEGATIVE FOR DRUGS.

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

POOR JUDGEMENT OF THE PILOT BY FLYING WHILE PHYSICALLY IMPAIRED FROM CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL & DRUGS, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN PROPER ALTITUDE. THE LIGHT CONDITION (AT NIGHT) AND THE OBSTRUCTIONS (POWER LINES AND BUILDING) WERE CONSIDERED TO BE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS.

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