NTSB Identification: MIA06LA118.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 21, 2006 in Panacea, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2007
Aircraft: Ercoupe (Eng & Research Corp.) 415C, registration: N99355
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The accident airplane's co-owner/pilot and a pilot-rated passenger had both been at a social function near the airport, and had departed on a short flight to demonstrate the co-owner's recently acquired airplane. The flight originated about 2125 and a short while later the airplane clipped trees at about the 20-foot level, and then descended, impacting the ground and burning just short of the runway. The fire largely consumed the airplane, but the absence of evidence of propeller rotation suggested that the engine ceased operating prior to impact. Post-accident engine examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal engine operation. The pilot's postmortem examination revealed evidence of the pilot having focal severe coronary atherosclerosis, and no evidence of smoke inhalation or obviously fatal injuries. There was insufficient evidence to determine conclusively whether or when a cardiac event might have occurred. Toxicology testing of specimens from the pilot suggested that he was intoxicated by alcohol at the time of the flight and had used marijuana within 10 hours of the accident. The pilot-rated passenger did not have a current medical certificate.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, which resulted in the airplane descending and impacting trees during the approach. A possible contributing factor was the pilot's pre-existing cardiovascular condition. Full narrative available
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