SEA98LA031
SEA98LA031

On January 30, 1998, about 0130 mountain standard time, N8798G, a Cessna 150F, collided with terrain at the departure end of runway 07 at Havre, Montana. The student pilot, who had received about three hours of dual flight instruction but had not yet soloed, was fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. There was no fire, and no report of the ELT actuating.

The airplane was removed from its hangar and flown without authorization from its owner. The student pilot's whereabouts were known until about 2347 on the previous night (which was the time he terminated a telephone conversation with a friend in Chinook, Montana), and the airplane was first noted to be missing about 0530 in the morning. There were no known witnesses to the crash. However, one individual remembered seeing an airplane at 0130, which caught his attention, as it was departing to the east with winds from the west. He said the engine was not very loud, and the airplane was about 3-400 feet off the ground. He remembered seeing red and green lights and the airplane "bobbing" in the wind, with the wings tipping from side to side. He left for work without paying further attention to the airplane, while it was still west of his house. The house is located about 1-2 blocks southwest of the crash site.

FAA inspectors conducted an on-scene investigation and reported that no pre-crash mechanical anomalies were found.

Toxicological testing by the FAA confirmed a concentration of 52.000 mg/dl ethanol in blood, 116.000 mg/dl in brain fluid, and 152.000 mg/dl in urine. An autopsy was performed by Roland N. Lass, for the Hill County Coroner's office on January 30, 1998, which cited the probable cause of death as massive traumatic injuries secondary to a plane crash.

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