NTSB Identification: ERA09LA132
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 09, 2009 in Hardin, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/11/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N28RP
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.

The pilot arrived at the airport unannounced and rented the airplane with the stated intention to perform three takeoffs and landings to retain currency, and then fly the airplane to visit his daughter. The pilot subsequently called his daughter and stated that he was not going to make the flight. The pilot then departed the following morning, before sunrise. He flew approximately 50 nautical miles, and then turned around and flew back toward the departure airport. Approximately 10 miles from the departure airport, the airplane initiated a near vertical descent in excess of 6,000 feet-per-minute, and impacted the ground in a nose-low, wings-level attitude. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no preimpact mechanical anomalies. Toxicological testing performed on the pilot revealed marijuana in the pilot's blood and lung tissue. The testing results suggested use of the illegal drug within about 3 hours of the accident, likely impairing him during the flight.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control and his impairment from illegal drug use.

Full narrative available

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