NTSB Identification: FTW02FA113.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 06, 2002 in Minden, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/30/2003
Aircraft: Beech D-45, registration: N6VY
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 airplane impacted wooded terrain west of the runway following an uncontrolled descent from a go-around from runway 01. Strong gusty winds (15 to 25 knots) from the east prevailed at the airport at the time of the accident. The private pilot, who occupied the front seat, had accumulated a total of 1,012.3 hours in the accident airplane. The pilot rated passenger, who occupied the aft seat, had accumulated a total of 321.5 hours, with none in the accident airplane. Review of the private pilot's personal and FAA medical records indicated that he had an essential tremor, a condition that caused his head and hands to shake noticeably, and not associated with any other disease. He continued to have progressive symptoms even on medications. He had an episode of unusual behavior, possibly related to his medications, in 1996 which occurred during operation of an aircraft. At the time of the accident, the private pilot was on fairly large doses of diazepam and propanolol to treat his essential tremor, medications which he did not note on his most recent application for a medical certificate in 2000 . The FAA medical records indicated that the FAA did not consider the private pilot medically qualified in 1996 and in 2000. Toxicological tests for the private pilot were positive for: diazepam (0.393 ug/ml) and its metabolites in blood and for propanolol in the blood and liver. Diazepam and its metabolites have substantial adverse effects on judgment, alertness, and performance. The pilot, in fact, complained of sedation from the diazepam, and adverse performance effects would be expected at the levels used. Propanolol which lowers blood pressure and reduces heart rate response to stress, may result in dizziness, fatigue, and decreased G-tolerance, particularly at high doses. The private pilot was impaired from the diazepam, possibly from propanolol, and possibly from his essential tremor. No evidence of uncorrected discrepancies was found in the maintenance records. No evidence of an in-flight mechanical and/or flight control malfunction was found that would have rendered the airplane uncontrollable prior to the impact.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The private pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during a go-around. Contributing factors were the private pilot's impairment due to drugs, the pilot-rated passenger's lack of experience in the airplane, and the prevailing gusty crosswind conditions. Full narrative available
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