On June 18, 1995, at 1400 eastern daylight time, a Drake MONI, N787DD, an experimental, homebuilt, collided with trees during approach to runway 26 at Pittsfield Municipal Airport, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The personal, local flight was conducted under 14 CFR 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, witnesses reported that the pilot, "...was breaking in a new engine and the pilot always practiced engine-out approaches and landings as a matter of routine." The witnesses stated that they heard the engine restart just before the impact. The airplane veered to the right, pitched nose down, and disappeared behind the trees. The FAA Inspector stated that the airplane collided with a 70 foot, tall tree and remained suspended in the tree.
The FAA Safety Inspector examined the wreckage at the accident site and reported: "There does not appear to be any evidence that a mechanical failure of any kind occurred. The engine integrity was compromised by the accident to the extent that its operational status following the accident could not be determined." The Inspector also stated that the wooden propeller was shattered. The Inspector stated that the investigation revealed that the airplane was built over a year ago, and it did not have an annual inspection. The engine had about 5 hours of total flight time.
Toxicological tests were conducted by the Civil Aeromedical Institute of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Results were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and volatiles; however, the drug screen revealed the following results:
0.081 (ug/ml, ug/g) Propoxyphene detected in Blood 0.428 (ug/ml, ug/g) Norpropoxyphene detected in Blood 0.069 (ug/ml, ug/g) Propoxyphene detected in Liver Fluid 1.708 (ug/ml, ug/g) Norpropoxyphene detected in Liver Fluid
According to the Physicians' Desk Reference Guide the abovementioned drugs are mild narcotics and the effects are similar to alcohol. According to Dr. Dennis Canfield, Manager of Toxicology and Accident, the abovementioned drugs cause increased reaction time, and have additional depressant effects. He also stated that these drugs are not approved for flying by the Federal Aviation Administration.