NTSB Identification: LAX06FA043.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 19, 2005 in Dana Point, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/2007
Aircraft: Cessna T210N, registration: N546BC
Injuries: 4 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 the ocean following a departure from controlled cruise flight. The airplane had decelerated from 120 knots to approximately 60 knots while maintaining an altitude of 3,500 feet mean sea level (msl), then descended as rapidly as 7,000 feet per minute, finally spiraling toward the ocean in a corkscrew manner before it impacted the water. No pre-accident anomalies were noted with any systems examined, and no distress calls or communications preceded or followed the upset. The autopsy report on the 51-year-old airline transport pilot was consistent with a condition known as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), a substantially thickened main heart chamber. It also noted moderate to severe coronary artery disease with evidence of at least one prior small heart attack. The combination of coronary artery disease and LVH would have substantially increased the risk for sudden cardiac death in this pilot. There was no evidence that the pilot was aware of his heart disease. The behavior of the aircraft cannot be explained by any reasonable scenario in which the 11,500-hour pilot was deliberately controlling the aircraft. Therefore, it seems likely that the pilot was unable to control the aircraft, an inability that can reasonably be explained by an incapacitating cardiac event.

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

The pilot's inability to maintain aircraft control, which resulted in a loss of airspeed and a stall/spin. The inability of the pilot to maintain control of the airplane was likely due to an incapacitating cardiac event.

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