NTSB Identification: ERA11LA135
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 06, 2011 in West Blocton, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2011
Aircraft: BELCHER WILLIAM B II FIRESTAR, registration: N43341
Injuries: 1 Serious.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
Witnesses stated that they observed the airplane make a low pass down a private runway. Upon reaching the end of the runway, the airplane started a steep climb, estimated to be 45 degrees or greater, at a slow airspeed. The right wing then dropped, the airplane stalled, entered a spin, and disappeared from view behind a tree line. The witnesses stated the engine was running until the airplane disappeared from view. The student pilot stated that he was on climbout, made a right turn and leveled out when the right wing dropped and the airplane entered a spin before colliding with trees. A postaccident examination of the airframe and flight controls revealed no evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction prior to the accident. A successful engine testrun was subsequently conducted. Toxicology testing of postaccident specimens from the student pilot revealed that Methadone and Nordiazepam were present in the blood. The student pilot stated he had been taking Methadone at the time of the accident for back pain. While the investigation considered that the student pilot may have been impaired by the medication or by the condition for which it had been prescribed, the role of any possible impairment in the accident could not be conclusively determined.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The student pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Full narrative available
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