FTW02LA255
FTW02LA255

On September 5, 2002, approximately 1439 central daylight time, a Cessna 182P single-engine airplane, N41CW, was substantially damaged following a loss of control during a precautionary landing near Kirbyville, Texas. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane and registered owner, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The cross-country flight departed the Easterwood Field, College Station, Texas, approximately 1130 and was destined to the Lafeyette Regional Airport, Lafeyette, Louisiana.

According to the pilot, while en route to Lafeyette, he became severely disorientated. He was unable to get the "GPS or the aircraft avionics to work correctly," and therefore, could not verify the airplane's position or heading. The pilot continued to work with the instruments and flew in circles to stay in the relative area. He continued to become more disorganized and decided to land the airplane. Unable to locate an airport in the immediate area, the pilot executed a precautionary landing to a dirt road. During the landing, the right main landing gear struck a hole, the left wing tip contacted the ground, and the airplane nosed over.

An employee of the pilot stated that on the day of the accident, at 1645, he received a phone call from the pilot. The employee reported that the pilot "was very confused about where he was." When the employee asked the pilot why he landed in the field, the pilot's response was that his "GPS went down and he was very tired and confused and wanted to take a nap to rest for awhile to clear his head." A search, initiated by the FAA and local personnel, located the pilot near the airplane.

After the accident, the pilot was examined by a medical doctor. The pilot stated he had a headache, and a Computed Tomography Imaging scan, also known as a CT Scan or CAT Scan, was completed. It was determined that the pilot had a subdural hematoma (commonly known as bleeding in the brain).

On the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB 6120.1/2), the pilot reported that on June 19, 2002, he was involved in a motorcycle accident and sustained several injuries. On August 28, 2002, the pilot was released from his physician and was not aware of any medical condition that would have prevented him from operating an airplane. On September 4, 2002, the pilot completed a round-trip flight from College Station to Freer, Texas, with no problems noted. At the time of the accident, the pilot was not taking any prescription medication or receiving any treatment for any medical condition.

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