NTSB Identification: SEA07FA031.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 12, 2006 in Bandon, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N5618U
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.

Approximately 30 minutes after the pilot's initial takeoff, witnesses reported seeing the airplane in a steep, nose-low, left downwind to base turn for the intended runway. The witness reported the airplane continued the descending turn until loosing sight of the aircraft behind a tree line. The wreckage was later located in the general vicinity of the witnesses sighting. The airplane impacted terrain in the left wing down, nose-low attitude. The pilot's last radio transmission, on the Unicom frequency, was a position report indicating he was turning from downwind to base. A review of logbook records indicated the student pilot had accumulated approximately 325 hours of total time, of which 261 hours were solo. The pilot's past medical history included nonspecific recent arm pain. Severe atherosclerotic heart disease was cited as a significant finding in the autopsy. Toxicology testing revealed positive results for a prescription anti-depressant. The pilot held a current student pilot certificate. Post accident examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence to indicate a pre-impact mechanical malfunction or irregularity with the airplane that may have contributed to the accident.

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

The loss of aircraft control in the traffic pattern for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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