NTSB Identification: CHI01LA294.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 22, 2001 in Alice, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N4329Z
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane impacted the terrain while attempting an aerobatic maneuver. A witness to the accident stated he saw the accident airplane "do 3 or 4 turns going down after a stall." The witness reported the airplane descended below a tree line, impacting the ground. Another witness reported the accident airplane was performing "spins" and "barrel rolls" prior to the accident. Local law enforcement reported there was several beer cans around and in the airplane wreckage. No anomalies were found with the airplane that could be associated to any pre-impact condition. Toxicology test results indicate that 55 mg/dL of ethanol was detected in the pilot's blood, equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.055%. Additionally, sertaline (trade name Zoloft) and its metabolite (desmethylsertraline) were found in blood, liver, and urine. 1.672 ug/mL of sertaline and 2.983 ug/mL of desmethylsertaline were detected in the pilot's blood. Sertraline is a prescription antidepressant, also used in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder. The pilot did not report the use of any medication at his last FAA medical examination, completed on June 13, 2000. Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 91.17 "Alcohol or drugs" states no person may act, or attempt to act, as a crewmember of a civil aircraft within 8 hours after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage, while under the influence of alcohol, while using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety, or while having 0.04 percent by weight or more alcohol in the blood.

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

The pilot's unsuccessful recovery from an intentional aerobatic stall/spin maneuver. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's impairment (alcohol), and his psychological condition.

Full narrative available

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