NTSB Identification: DFW07FA042.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 19, 2006 in Austin, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Cessna T210N, registration: N5434C
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 3,805-hour instrument rated private pilot lost control of the airplane while executing an instrument approach under instrument meteorological conditions. The pilot had been informed by an air traffic controller to expect the ILS/DME RWY 17 instrument approach into his destination airport. The pilot acknowledged and the controller began to provide altitudes and headings to join the approach’s localizer signal. However, a review of the radar data revealed that instead of tracking the localizer, the single-engine airplane began a series of left and right hand climbing and descending turns along the localizer course before initiating a descending right hand turn to the west before the data ended. At that time, the airplane's altitude was 1,900 feet msl, and its ground speed was 173 knots. A witness, who was a commercial pilot in hot-air balloons, heard the sound of an airplane engine "revving up" and observed the airplane as it exited the 500-600 foot overcast layer. He said the airplane was in a descending (45-degree nose down) turn until it impacted the ground. Weather at the time of the accident was visibility 4 statute miles, mist, and a ceiling of 600 feet broken, and overcast 1,200 feet. Toxicological testing conducted on the pilot was negative for alcohol, carbon monoxide, and illegal drugs. However, the testing did detect the drugs doxazosin (which had been prescribed for an enlarged prostate) in the kidney and liver, doxylamine (an over-the-counter antihistamine with sedative effects) in the kidney and liver, and trimethoprim (a prescription antibiotic) in the liver. No blood was available for testing. According to a family member, the pilot had been complaining of headaches prior to the accident that the pilot thought may have been due to a sinus infection, and had been taking Nasonex (a prescription nasally inhaled steroid) regularly at the time of the accident. The family member also noted that the pilot had taken Alka-Seltzer Plus approximately 12 hours prior to the accident flight. The pilot's last application for Airman Medical Certificate in January 2005 had indicated the use of medications, but had not detailed the medications used. According to the autopsy report, "...The cause of death could not be determined. This is, at least, in part due to the severe traumatic injury of the body with destruction of vital organs precluding their examination. In addition, from the investigative information, it is not clear whether [the pilot] was alive or dead as the plane descended to the ground."

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while executing an instrument approach for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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