NTSB Identification: NYC08FA239
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 05, 2008 in Neptune, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/2009
Aircraft: Jahns Vans RV-7, registration: N916R
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-owner of the amateur-built airplane completed an oil change and was seen performing other maintenance on his airplane. The airplane subsequently departed the uncontrolled airport at an unknown time, and was seen impacting an estuary, approximately 4 miles from the departure airport, after a near-vertical descent. The wreckage was highly fragmented. The engine, propeller, and several other components were not located or recovered. Examination of the recovered wreckage did not reveal any pre-impact failures. Toxicological tests on the pilot detected quinine (a medication used to treat malaria, found in tonic water, and available in non-prescription nutritional supplements marketed to reduce the frequency of nocturnal leg cramps) in the liver tissue. Side effects of quinine can include disturbances of vision, hearing, and balance, and the use of quinine by pilots is usually contraindicated, since it may contribute to spatial disorientation under some conditions. No information was obtained regarding the pilot’s possible use of quinine, and it was not possible to determine from the toxicology tests when the pilot might most recently have ingested quinine, or whether he may have been impaired by such use.

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

An in-flight loss of control for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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