NTSB Identification: CEN09LA311
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 21, 2009 in Plainwell, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/2009
Aircraft: THORNTON RV-6A, registration: N39JT
Injuries: 2 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.
Several witnesses reported observing the airplane shortly after takeoff flying and executing a number of turns. Prior to impact with terrain, the airplane "barely cleared the trees" and entered a steep left bank. The accident site revealed the left wing impacted terrain and the airplane came to rest upright. A postimpact fire consumed the airplane. Examination of airframe and engine revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation prior to the accident. Each pilot had autopsy evidence of coronary artery disease and a previous heart attack, though it is possible that either or both were not aware of their heart disease. The pilot also had a history of a partial lung obstruction and glaucoma, neither of which appeared to have been causing symptoms or was likely to have affected his performance on the day of the accident. In addition, the pilot-rated passenger had recently ingested a medication containing an over-the-counter sedating antihistamine. The investigation, however, could not determine whether impairment or incapacitation affected either pilot.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control for undetermined reasons. Full narrative available
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