NTSB Identification: WPR11FA061
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in Bremerton, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2012
Aircraft: AMERICAN CHAMPION AIRCRAFT 8GCBC, registration: N273MA
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.

Radar data showed the airplane 3 miles south of the airport on an easterly heading when it turned right and continued to track to the north; radar data terminated about 4 miles northwest of the airport near the accident location. Search-and-rescue personnel found the wreckage in a heavily wooded remote area of mountainous terrain at the 1,300-foot level. Freshly scarred branches and limbs indicated the first point of contact with a series of trees. Wreckage signatures and tree/ground scars were consistent with level flight. According to a certified flight instructor (CFI), the pilot purchased the airplane about 1 month before the accident. The CFI flew the airplane with the pilot for about 26 hours. The CFI reported that he did not endorse the pilot’s logbook and recommended that the pilot find a local instructor for further training. A postaccident toxicological examination showed elevated levels of acetaminophen, metoprolol, and oxycodone in the pilot’s blood and urine. Warnings associated with oxycodone include “may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery).” However, the available data was inconclusive about whether the pilot was impaired by the oxycodone. Severe coronary artery disease was found during autopsy, and that, combined with the presence of oxycodone, may have contributed to the accident, but the evidence is inconclusive about whether they were causal.

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

The pilot did not maintain clearance from terrain for undetermined reasons. Contributing to the accident were the pilot’s use of oxycodone and his severe coronary artery disease.

Full narrative available

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