NTSB Identification: DFW07LA102.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 02, 2007 in Canadian, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2008
Aircraft: Walker Zenith Zodiac 601 XL, registration: N10028
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 single engine experimental light sport airplane was observed departing from the airport in deteriorating weather conditions that consisted of low ceilings, reduced visibility, heavy rain, and lightning southwest of the airport. The pilot, who held an FAA Sport Pilot certificate, did not file a flight plan and there was no record that he obtained a weather briefing from an automated flight service station prior to departure. The purpose of the flight could not be determined; however, witnesses heard and/or observed the airplane depart and then fly in the vicinity of the airport for approximately 15 minutes before it was reported to police that the airplane had crashed approximately 2.3 miles northwest of the airport.about 16 minutes later. There were no known voice communications from the pilot prior to the accident. A review of the wreckage revealed that the airplane came apart in flight before it impacted terrain. The debris was scattered along a heading of 030 degrees for approximately 1.3 miles. Examination of the fractured wing spars and elevator rear attachment points revealed signatures consistent with overload stresses. In addition, examination of the two seatbelt assemblies revealed that they remained securely attached to their respective airframe attachment points, but were not buckled. The seatbelt material was clean, not stretched, and the metal buckles (male and female) did not exhibit any damage. The canopy's locking mechanism was found in the unlocked position. A toxicological exam revealed positive results for the following drugs; bupropion, an antidepressant medication, was detected in the kidney, bupropion metabolite was detected in the kidney and present in the liver; chloroquine, a medication used for the treatment or prevention of malaria, was detected in the liver; and, diphenhydramine, an antihistamine with sedative effects, was detected in the kidney and liver. No blood, urine, or vitreous was available for analysis.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper pre-flight planning and decision to depart into deteriorating weather conditions, which resulted in a loss of control and subsequent in-flight break up. Full narrative available
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