NTSB Identification: WPR09LA032
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 06, 2008 in Wallace, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: Universal Globe, registration: N80715
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.

During the test flight of the experimental airplane, an on-board video camera recorded the takeoff and the pilot activating the landing gear retraction about 2 minutes after takeoff. Approximately 2 1/2 minutes later, the recording showed the pilot's hand slipping from the throttle and his head tilting forward. There were no subsequent coordinated movements made by the pilot, though the airplane remained airborne for about an hour. During this time, the video showed a series of descending and climbing turns varying in altitude between 1,900 feet and 3,800 feet mean sea level (msl). The test flight also included a second airplane, which was also videotaping the test flight. The recorded video from the second airplane verified the same flight path as the recording from the accident airplane. The airborne witnesses observed the accident airplane flying erratically for about an hour before they had to return to the airport due to fuel considerations. During the hour-long flight, the pilot of the second airplane attempted unsuccessfully several times to contact the accident pilot by radio. At one point, the second airplane was able to fly adjacent to the accident airplane. The airborne witnesses observed the accident pilot slumped over the flight controls and unresponsive. The airplane eventually collided with flat open terrain. Post accident examination of the engine found no evidence of a preimpact malfunction. The condition of the pilot's remains did not permit determination of whether the pilot was deceased prior to impact. Toxicology tests of post-mortem samples from the pilot detected alfuzosin, a prescription medication used for the treatment of prostate enlargement. Alfuzosin can rarely result in an unsafe drop in blood pressure, particularly with the first dose, or an increase in dose, but the medication typically does not have any adverse effects, and is routinely approved by the FAA.

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

The pilot's incapacitation during cruise for unknown reasons that resulted in a loss of aircraft control.

Full narrative available

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