NTSB Identification: BFO89FA043.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39250.
Accident occurred Friday, June 09, 1989 in MYERSVILLE, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-300, registration: N1499X
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.

DRG A WX BRIEFING BEFORE TAKEOFF, THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PLT WAS ADZD THAT VFR FLT WAS NOT RCMDD. WHILE EN ROUTE ON A VFR FLT, THE ACFT CRASHED IN AN AREA WHERE RIDGE TOPS WERE OBSCD BY CLOUDS. A WITNESS, WHO HEARD THE ACFT, RPRTD THAT IT SOUNDED LIKE IT ENTERED A STEEP DESCENT BEFORE IT CRASHED. AN EXAM OF THE CRASH SITE VERIFIED THE ACFT HAD IMPACTED IN A STEEP DESCENT. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE/MALFUNCTION OF THE ACFT WAS FOUND. TOXICOLOGY CHECKS OF THE PLT'S LIVER TISSUE WERE POSITIVE FOR NORDIAZEPAM (AT OR ABOVE 0.148 MG/L) & MAPROTILINE AT OR ABOVE 8.6 MG/KG). NORDIAZEPAM IS A TRANQUILIZER & MAPROTILINE IS USED TO TREAT DEPRESSION. THE PLT'S FAMILY RPRTD THAT CENTRAX (PRAZEPAM) & LUDIOMIL (MAPROTILENE HYDROCHLORIDE) HAD BEEN PRESCRIBED TO THE PLT FOR CONTROL OF DEPRESSION.

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

CONTINUED FLIGHT BY THE PILOT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC) AND HIS INABILITY TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT AFTER BECOMING SPATIALLY DISORIENTED. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS WERE HILLY/MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN, WEATHER CONDITIONS, THE PILOT'S LACK OF INSTRUMENT EXPERIENCE, AND HIS IMPAIRMENT FROM A PRESCRIPTION DRUG THAT WAS NOT APPROVED FOR USE WHILE FLYING.

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