NTSB Identification: CEN10FA019
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 14, 2009 in Tahlequah, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/2010
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N3234G
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.

According to family and friends, the pilot had been up all night watching movies with friends. The pilot intended to go hunting the morning of the accident with a friend and wanted to put his helicopter away before the trip. He scheduled to meet his friend at the airport; however, the helicopter never arrived at the airport. The wreckage was found two days later in a field just south of the departure point. Ground scars and wreckage distribution was consistent with controlled flight into terrain. An examination of the helicopter and its systems revealed no anomalies. Weather at the time of the accident was 400 feet overcast with visibility restricted due to mist. The pilot was not certified for instrument flight and there was no evidence that he had received any instrument training or that he was current for night flight. The helicopter was not certified for instrument flight and there was no record indicating that the pilot had obtained a weather briefing from a recorded source. Toxicology findings were consistent with recent use of impairing doses of a narcotic pain reliever (prescribed the day prior to the accident following a dental procedure) and recent heavy use of methamphetamine. The pilot did not report a history of substance dependence, illicit substance use, or his history of multiple alcohol related traffic offenses to the FAA.

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

The pilot's impairment due to recent heavy use of methamphetamine, recent use of a narcotic pain reliever, and fatigue. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of instrument experience and training.

Full narrative available

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