On September 2, 1993, at approximately 1100 central daylight time, the pilot of a Cessna A185F, N6279E, became incapacitated while water taxiing the airplane at Pilottown, Louisiana, and the airplane collided with a river bank, but was not damaged. time later. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan had been filed.

The following is based on a telephone interview with the aircraft owner and the subsequent Pilot/Operator Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) he submitted. The pilot of N6279E landed on the river and his two passengers disembarked. The owner flew over the river and saw the pilot wave at him. Since the airplane was facing downwind, the owner believes the pilot untied the airplane with the intention of water taxiing into an upwind position before docking.

The owner reported he decided to orbit the area and wait for the pilot to report he was clear of the landing area. When no report was received the owner attempted to contact the pilot via radio. After receiving no answer he flew low over the water, observed the airplane taxiing slowly across the water, and saw the pilot slumped over the controls. As the owner landed, he saw the airplane taxi into the river bank. When he reached the airplane, he found the pilot had stopped breathing and had no pulse. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter evacuated the pilot to a nearby hospital.


An autopsy was performed by the Jefferson Parrish, Coroners Office in Gretna, Louisiana. Cause of the pilot's death was attributed to "acute coronary insufficiency due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and abnormal coronary artery distribution." Toxicological protocol was negative for ethyl alcohol, carbon monoxide, and drugs.

The Federal Aviation Administration's medical certification file revealed that in September 1962, the pilot was diagnosed as having a "slight systolic heart murmur" that was "probably functional" and "probably associated with a slight pes cavum deformity of the chest." The electrocardiogram was "generally within normal limits." In September 1989, an FAA airman medical examiner detected a "mild expansive pulsation of the abdominal aorta" and "post exercise mild tachycardia," and the pilot was denied medical certification. Subsequent tests made by a non-FAA physician disclosed "no evidence of an abdominal aortic aneurysm" and the pilot was granted a class medical certificate in October.

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