NTSB Identification: SEA07LA060.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 06, 2007 in Incline Vlg, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2007
Aircraft: Brown Pitts S-1, registration: N20164
Injuries: 1 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 experimental bi-plane collided with the frozen surface of a lake in daytime visual flight rules conditions during a local area flight. The pilot built, maintained, and raced the airplane, in which he had accrued over 700 hours. The commercial air carrier pilot reported 30,000 hours on his last airman medical application. An examination of the wreckage revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation prior to impact. Located within the pilot's flight suit was a broken beer bottle. The pilot's post-mortem chest blood ethanol level was 0.155 percent, and post-mortem urine ethanol level was 0.279 percent. These levels suggest recent ingestion of substantial amounts of alcohol, amounts which would render a non-tolerant individual unconscious or nearly so. The FAA was aware of the pilot's driver's license suspension 10 months prior to the accident, but had not obtained details of the arrest. The arrest record for that suspension detailed that this pilot had been driving a vehicle at a blood alcohol level of more than 0.250. Had the FAA obtained this arrest record, they would have been aware that the pilot met the FAA's definition for substance dependence due to increased tolerance, and he likely would not have been issued a medical certificate without having undergone thorough evaluation and treatment.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The airplane collided with a frozen lake for undetermined reasons. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's intentional operation of the airplane while impaired by alcohol and the FAA's failure to obtain additional information about the pilot's self-reported driver's license suspension. Full narrative available
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