NTSB Identification: FTW01FA065.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 12, 2001 in Pampa, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2002
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30A, registration: N1256R
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.

According to air traffic control, 20 miles prior to the intended destination, the pilot terminated VFR flight following for the night cross-country flight. About 4 hours later, the destination airport manager was notified of an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) transmitting in the vicinity. A check of the airport did not locate the ELT. A continuing search for the ELT resulted in finding of the accident airplane approximately 1.8 miles east of the airport. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted the ground and traveled 505 feet before coming to rest. The engine separated from the fuselage and traveled for 693 feet before coming to rest. There were no reported eyewitnesses to the accident; however, fog was reported in the area at the time of the accident. The non-instrument rated private pilot received a preflight briefing about 12 hours before the flight. No structural or mechanical anomalies were observed during the post accident examination of the airplane. The last logged night flight was on January 14, 2001, and the last logged simulated instrument conditions flight was on November 7, 1999. The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute toxicology report noted 7.65 (mg/dl, mg/hg) acetaminophen was detected in urine. Chlorpheniramine was detect in blood and urine. According to the FAA Southwest Regional Flight Surgeon, chlorpheniramine is found in allergy and cold preparations. It is sometimes combined with acetaminophen (Tylenol). It may cause significant drowsiness, therefore, it is not recommended for use while performing safety-sensitive activities.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain terrain clearance. Contributing factors were the dark night and the fog.

Full narrative available

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