NTSB Identification: WPR10LA299
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 19, 2010 in May, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/26/2011
Aircraft: OLIVER VANS RV-9A, registration: N559B
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.

While approaching his destination airport, the pilot made a left turn to circle over an adjacent town. He then reduced his angle of bank, but continued in a left turn so as to overfly and evaluate the surface condition of the dirt/turf airstrip where he planned to land. At the time that he ultimately rolled wings-level to parallel the runway, he had been in a left turn for approximately four minutes. About 20 seconds after the pilot rolled out of the turn, the airplane rolled to the left and descended into the terrain. A forensic toxicology examination determined that the pilot's blood contained levels of an over-the-counter sedating antihistamine that would be expected to result in impairment, and it is likely that the pilot lost control of his airplane due to spatial disorientation exacerbated by the effects of the antihistamine. A postaccident examination of the airplane's flight control system and primary structure performed by a Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness inspector did not reveal any evidence of a malfunction or anomaly that would have contributed to the rapid roll and descent into the terrain.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during maneuvering flight due to spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's ingestion of an impairing level of over-the-counter medication.

Full narrative available

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