NTSB Identification: CEN11FA629
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 08, 2011 in West Liberty, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N159JW
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.

Several witnesses reported hearing a low-flying airplane. One witness stated that he heard the engine go silent three times and then rev back up twice and that he saw the airplane in about a 75-degree nose-low attitude. Another witness stated that he observed the airplane complete a 360-degree loop and then go into a “direct vertical climb, reach its pinnacle, and begin to fall tail first with a partial spin.” He lost sight of the airplane behind trees. He then heard a “thud” and observed a black mushroom cloud appear above the tree line. Radar track data showed an airplane with a ground speed of 40 knots near the accident site at the time of the accident; the track was consistent with the performance of the aerobatic maneuver described by the witnesses. At the time of the accident, the sky was overcast with low clouds. The examination of the wreckage indicated that the airplane impacted the ground in about a 45-degree nose-low attitude. The examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Toxicological reports indicate that, at the time of the accident, the pilot had recently used at least five impairing drugs: diazepam, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and marijuana. All of these drugs work synergistically to create psychomotor slowing and interfere with judgment and executive functioning. It is very likely that the pilot was impaired by drug use at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot’s improper decision to fly aerobatic maneuvers at low altitude, which resulted in a loss of control and impact with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s impairment due to his recent use of multiple impairing drugs.

Full narrative available

Index for Sep2011 | Index of months