NTSB Identification: DEN08FA059.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 16, 2008 in Benton, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 414A, registration: N41LP
Injuries: 2 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.
According to witnesses, the airplane departed runway 35 and was observed flying in and out of the clouds. Several of the witnesses observed the airplane initiate a turn to the west. One witnesses commented that it was dark but he could still see the silhouette of the airplane. He observed the airplane descend below the trees. All of the witnesses reported flames and "fireballs." On scene evidence was consistent with the airplane impacting trees in a left turn. The airplane was destroyed. An examination of the airplane, flight controls, engines, and remaining systems revealed no anomalies. Weather observations and radar data depicted low clouds, and restricted visibility due to rain and mist, in the vicinity of the airport. Toxicological examination revealed cetirizine, an antihistamine, consistent with use within the previous 12 hours. Most studies have not found any significant impairment from the medication, though it is reported to cause substantial sedation in some individuals.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the trees. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's flight into known adverse weather conditions and the low clouds and visibility. Full narrative available
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