NTSB Identification: LAX08LA266
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 12, 2008 in Needles, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2009
Aircraft: Bowman Titan Tornado II, registration: N3156B
Injuries: 1 Fatal,3 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Witnesses reported that the airplane flew about 10 feet above a truck traveling southbound on a highway. It was then observed flying straight and level at low altitude over the two-lane highway, the propeller was turning, and the airplane did not appear to be in distress. Two miles later, a witness saw the airplane make a sharp left turn eastbound to line up with the westbound lanes of a perpendicular interstate highway. Ground scars showed that during the turn the left wing of the airplane contacted the shoulder of the highway prior to the airplane colliding head-on with a westbound car in the number one lane. No evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure of the engine was found during postaccident inspection of the engine. There were numerous suitable areas for landing on and adjacent to the southbound highway prior to reaching the interstate highway. The pilot's autopsy report noted evidence of severe coronary artery disease treated with bypass surgery and stent placement. The pilot also had a history of high blood pressure and non-insulin dependent diabetes. It could not be determined whether the pilot was intending to land on the highway, or if his medical conditions played any role in the accident events. The pilot did not hold a current medical certificate.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from a vehicle during a low-altitude flight over a highway.

Full narrative available

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