NTSB Identification: CHI06FA030.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 09, 2005 in Bloomington, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-160, registration: N4319P
Injuries: 1 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 terrain during a night visual approach to an airport following a partial loss of right engine power that occurred during cruise flight. There was no emergency declared by the pilot who initially elected to divert to the airport of last departure which was 37 nautical miles west of the accident airport. Air traffic control then informed the pilot the location of the closer accident airport. Examination of the wreckage and component testing did not reveal any mechanical problems that would have precipitated a partial loss of right engine power. During the approach, the pilot made three exclamations over tower frequency accompanied by heavy breathing. The pilot's autopsy revealed evidence that a tear in the aorta (aortic dissection) had occurred prior to the accident and resulted in the rapid accumulation of blood around the heart, substantially impairing heart function and leading to impairment or incapacitation. This type of tear in the aorta typically presents with a sudden onset of severe pain, and there is no testing for aortic dissection that would be routinely performed in the absence of such pain. The condition would most likely have been fatal regardless of the circumstances under which it occurred.

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

The aircraft control not possible by the pilot during a visual approach to the runway due to the physical impairment of the pilot.

Full narrative available

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