NTSB Identification: FTW02FA004.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 04, 2001 in Alvarado, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Beech 95-B55, registration: N8164R
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.
While maneuvering during a local instructional flight, the multiengine airplane entered a flat spin that resulted in an in-flight collision with the terrain. A witness, who holds a private pilot certificate, observed the airplane approximately 1,500 feet agl in a "flat spin," and the airplane impacted the ground "flat on its bottom" in a pasture, approximately 400 yards north of the witness. Another witness reported that the airplane was in a flat spin and could not recover. The private pilot with a multiengine rating occupied the left seat, and the multiengine flight instructor occupied the right seat. At the accident site, the landing gear actuator was found in the extended position, and the flap actuators were found in the 10 degree flap position. Examination of the right propeller revealed that the blade counterweight signature markings on the blade sockets indicated that the propeller was in the feathered position at impact. Examination of the right propeller unfeathering accumulator revealed the presence of three separate cracks at the transition between the circumferential stiffener and the thin-walled hemisphere of the diaphragm. The private pilot's toxicological tests indicated that 0.462 (ug/ml, ug/g) of Citalopram (also known by the trade name Celexa), 0.114 (ug/ml, ug/g) of N-desmethylcitapram, 0.024 (ug/ml, ug/g) of di-N-desmethylcitalopram, 0.194 (ug/ml, ug/g) of Diphenhydramine (commonly known by the trade name Benadryl) was detected in the blood and urine, and 17.406 (ug/ml, ug/g) acetaminophen was detected in the urine. Citalopram is a prescription antidepressant, N-desmethylcitapram and di-N-desmethylcitalopram are metabolites of citalopram, and diphenhydramine is an over-the counter antihistamine with sedative effects, often used to treat allergy symptoms. Diphenhydramine was detected in the private pilot's blood in levels consistent with the recent ingestion of several times a normal dose, and the pilot was likely impaired by the effects of diphenhydramine.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The inadvertent flat spin of the airplane by the flightcrew resulting from the flight instructor's inadequate supervision. A contributing factor was the impairment (drugs) of the private pilot. Full narrative available
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