LAX05LA086
LAX05LA086

On February 5, 2005, about 1700 mountain standard time, an Austin Pitts Special, N109WM, collided with terrain during a low pass maneuver at the Coolidge Municipal Airport, Coolidge, Arizona. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal local flight departed Coolidge about 1630, with a planned destination of Falcon Field Airport, Mesa, Arizona. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed.

During a telephone interview with a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, the pilot stated that after departing from runway 23, he continued his flight path in a southwesterly direction. Upon reaching 100 feet above ground level (agl), he maneuvered the airplane in a 180-degree turn, in an effort to align it parallel to the runway and perform a low pass over the airport. As the pilot maneuvered the airplane in close proximity to the airport surface, he experienced a loss of altitude, resulting in the underside of the right wing and right main landing gear simultaneously impacting the ramp's asphalt. The airplane collided with terrain and skidded several hundred feet, coming to rest upright, with the right wing still attached.

The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane. As a result of impact forces, the airplane incurred damage to the right wing, cowling, and right landing gear.

In a written statement, the pilot stated that he thought the accident might have been prevented if he had a better understanding of the side effects of certain medications he was consuming. He added that he had undergone a chemotherapy protocol from June to November 2004, and thereafter, has been medicated with hormone shots and various oral prescriptions.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Deputy Region Flight Surgeon conducted an investigation of the pilot's medical condition. He stated that after conducting a thorough review of the pilot's medical information (both historical and current), he did not identify any medical issues that may have contributed to the accident.

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