On March 3, 2000, at 1720 eastern standard time, an unregistered experimental airplane, collided with the ground while attempting a landing on runway 27 at Redder Airport in Manatee, Florida. The personal flight was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the private pilot received fatal injuries. The flight departed Manatee, Florida, at an undetermined time.

According to witnesses at the accident site, the airplane was about 80 feet above the runway, on final approach to land, when it suddenly nosed into the ground. Both witnesses reported that the engine appeared to have been operating prior to impact.

On March 4, 2000, the postmortem examination on the pilot was performed at the Office of the District Twelve Medical Examiner, Sarasota, Florida. The toxicology report indicated that propoxyphene, a prescription narcotic painkiller often known by the trade name Darvon, norpropoxyphene, a metabolite of propoxyphene, amitriptyline, a prescription antidepressant, its active metabolite nortriptylene, and diphenhydramine, an over-the-counter sedating antihistamine, were found in the pilot's blood and urine.

The FAA does not regulate the use of any specific prescription or over-the-counter medications by pilots, though the FARs do state that (Sec. 91.17): "No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft ... While using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety...." The pilot had no current FAA medical certificate. The pilot's personal medical history was not acquired for examination.

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