NTSB Identification: LAX03FA109.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 07, 2003 in Rosamond, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/31/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 172L, registration: N19770
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.

Evaluation of the ground scars and impact signatures on the wreckage established that during the takeoff initial climb from a private dirt airstrip, the airplane stalled and struck the ground in a right wing, nose low attitude, and tumbled. The airplane was destroyed in the post-impact fire. Power lines were noted at the departure end of the runway. The airframe and engine were inspected with no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operations. Cocaine was detected in the pilot's blood, suggesting use within the 4 to 6 hours preceding the accident. Cocaethylene, a substance that is formed only when cocaine and ethanol are simultaneously present, was found in the liver.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed during the takeoff initial climb, which resulted in a stall and impact with flat level terrain. Also causal was the pilot's impaired judgment due to recent use of cocaine, and ethanol.

Full narrative available

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