NTSB Identification: DEN89FA209.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40813.
Accident occurred Thursday, September 07, 1989 in LK HAVASU CITY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1991
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-260, registration: N3999W
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.

THE PILOT AND PASSENGER HAD FLOWN TO LAKE HAVASU TO VISIT THE PASSENGER'S RELATIVES AND FRIENDS WHO WERE VACATIONING ON A HOUSEBOAT. WITNESSES STATED THEY OBSERVED N3999W APPROACH AT A LOW ALTITUDE AND CIRCLE A PARTICULAR POINT ON THE LAKE. THEY ALSO STATED THE AIRPLANE WAS IN A RIGHT BANK AND GRADUALLY DESCENDED DURING THE TURNS UNTIL THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED THE WATER. A REVIEW OF THE PILOT'S LOGBOOK REVEALED HE HAD ACCUMULATED APPROXIMATELY 195 HOURS OF TOTAL FLIGHT TIME. THE TOXICOLOGY REPORT ON THE PASSENGER REVEALED HE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COCAINE AND HAD AN ELEVATED LEVEL OF ANTIHISTAMINES IN BLOOD AND TISSUE SAMPLES.

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

PILOT'S ATTENTION DIVERTED OUTSIDE THE AIRPLANE. THIS DIVERSION RESULTED IN THE PILOT FAILING TO MONITOR HIS ALTITUDE WHILE IN A DESCENDING TURN AND INADVERTENTLY FLYING THE AIRPLANE INTO THE WATER.

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