NTSB Identification: CEN09FA195
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 09, 2009 in Golden, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2010
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP. AA-1B, registration: N9646L
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.

The non-instrument-rated private pilot and passenger were commuting to work in the dark, following a familiar route of flight. The airplane was not equipped to fly in instrument weather conditions and there was no evidence found indicating the pilot had obtained a weather briefing or filed a flight plan. One witness described light rain falling at the departure airfield 30 minutes before the airplane departed. A second witness, who was driving along the airplane's intended route of flight, saw the airplane depart the airfield and described the weather deteriorating from light rain to snow as she drove towards the accident site. She indicated that heavy snow was falling when she saw the accident site and notified authorities. Ethanol was detected in a postmortem urine specimen (at 0.191 mg/dL), and in two separate postmortem blood specimens from the pilot (at 0.075 and 0.092 mg/dL), consistent with impairment from the effects of alcohol at the time of the accident. No witnesses to the pilot’s behavior the night prior to the accident could be found.

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

The pilot's continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's recent usage of alcohol and his subsequent impairment.

Full narrative available

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