NTSB Identification: WPR11LA223
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 14, 2011 in Arlington, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2014
Aircraft: Czech Aircraft Works SPOL SRO Sportcruiser, registration: N282SC
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.
A witness reported that he saw the airplane take off and noted that, from its liftoff point, about 3,800 feet of runway remained. The airplane was 50 to 75 feet above the ground and was oscillating. Although the engine sounded very smooth, it did not sound as if it was running at takeoff rpm. The airplane then pitched up and down several times, rolled left, stalled, and impacted the ground. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed no mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.
Oxazepam (a prescription benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety, muscle spasm, and insomnia) was found in the pilot’s blood; however, the amount of oxazepam found was unlikely to have affected his performance. The amount of Benadryl (a nonprescription sedating antihistamine) found in the pilot’s blood was in the therapeutic range, suggesting recent use. Diphenhydramine has been found to cause more performance degradation in therapeutic doses than a low dose of alcohol. It is likely that the diphenhydramine impaired the pilot’s performance and contributed to the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s failure to maintain control during the takeoff climb, which resulted in a stall at low altitude and collision with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s impaired performance from over-the-counter medications.
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