NTSB Identification: DFW08FA057
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 18, 2008 in San Antonio, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA46-500TP, registration: N169CA
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 pilot attempted to intercept an instrument landing system localizer three times without success. The pilot told Air Traffic Approach Control that he was having trouble performing a "coupled" approach and that he was trying to "get control" of the airplane. The airplane disappeared from radar, subsequently impacting a field and then a barn. The airplane came to rest in an upright position and a postcrash fire ensued. A review of radar and voice data for the flight revealed that during the three approach attempts the pilot was able to turn to headings and climb to altitudes when assigned by air traffic control. Postmortem toxicology results were consistent with the regular use of a prescription antidepressant, and the recent use of a larger-than-maximal dose of an over-the-counter antihistamine known to cause impairment. There were no preimpact anomalies observed during the airframe and engine examinations that would have prevented normal operation.

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

The pilot's failure to execute an instrument approach. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's impairment due to recent use of over-the-counter medication.

Full narrative available

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