NTSB Identification: ERA10FA052
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 08, 2009 in Weston, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/27/2011
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER 100, registration: N4139X
Injuries: 1 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 pilot departed at night for an intended flight over the Everglades, to a destination airport north of the departure airport. After takeoff, while flying in a northerly direction over an area with no ground reference lights other than from vehicles on an east/west highway, the airplane climbed to a maximum altitude of 2,800 feet, then began descending at a rate of 3,000 feet-per-minute and flew over the highway. The airplane then deviated slightly to the right at the end of the flight, and impacted into the Everglades.

The pilot had only accumulated 2.8 hours of total night experience, all of which was flown in the same night, 8 months prior to the accident.

Examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine, and engine accessories revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical failure or malfunction. Total electrical failure was eliminated because transponder returns were noted from the beginning of the flight to within 0.3 nautical miles of the crash site. Additionally, light bulb filament stretching consistent with electrical power at impact was noted for the cockpit overhead light bulb.

Although the pilot had a history of coronary artery disease and had a cardiac catheterization and stent placement 2 years prior to the accident, the autopsy did not reveal any evidence of the presence of an incapacitating medical event during the accident flight. Additionally, the investigation revealed no evidence of the pilot suffering from fatigue or sleep apnea.

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

The flight's descent for undetermined reasons, resulting in the in-flight collision with terrain.

Full narrative available

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