NYC07LA011
NYC07LA011

On October 22, 2006, about 1745 eastern standard time, an amateur-built Bakeng Duce, N91BK, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain near South Boston, Virginia. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed. No flight plan was filed for the flight from Pace Airport (VA02), Ridgeway, Virginia, to Rockingham County/Shiloh Airport (SIF), Reidsville, North Carolina. The personal flight was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

The pilot's final destination was not certain. Virginia State Police reported that the pilot may have been en route to Greensboro, North Carolina.

The pilot was residing in Summerfield, North Carolina, which is located between Reidsville and Greensboro. Reidsville is 18 nautical miles (nm) southeast of Ridgeway, and Greensboro is 30 nm south of Ridgeway. The accident location was about 45 nm east of Ridgeway.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot bought 11 gallons of 100 octane low lead fuel at Ridgeway, and departed between 1715 and 1730. A witness near the accident site reported that the airplane attempted to land at an "ultralight field," but "appeared to be blown off course, climbed out, banked hard to the right, and crashed into a wooded area."

The wreckage was located 2 days later. The inspector reported that the airplane was lying on its right side, and broken tree branches were noted directly above it. The wings, fuel tanks, and forward fuselage sections were destroyed, and the engine was partially buried in the ground.

The tachometer indicated 300.34 hours, and both the forward and aft airspeed indicators displayed approximately 135 knots. Control continuity was confirmed for the control cables in the fuselage.

The airplane was powered by a Teledyne Continental Motors O-300 series engine. Fuel was observed in the carburetor, and although the sump was broken, some oil remained. A crankshaft continuity check confirmed that the engine rotated, and that the engine-mounted accessories rotated with the crankshaft. The FAA inspector did not report any preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal engine operation.

The pilot, age 55, held a private pilot certificate, and did not hold an instrument rating. His latest FAA third class medical certificate was issued on June 1, 2006, and at the time, he reported 300 total hours of flight experience. Time in airplane make and model were unknown. FAA aircraft registry records indicated that the airplane was purchased by the pilot on August 25, 2003.

An autopsy was performed by the Virginia Office of the Chief Examiner, Richmond, Virginia, and the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma. Toxicological testing was performed by both the State of Virginia and the FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and results indicated the presence of codeine, diphenhydramine, bupropion, and paroxetine. Virginia results included the quantification of codeine at 0.01 mg/L and diphenhydramine at 0.43 mg/L in the pilot's chest cavity blood. FAA results included the quantification of paroxetine at 0.126 ug/mL in the pilot's blood, 0.48 ug/mL in the heart, and 0.949 ug/mL in the spleen.

There was no evidence that the FAA was aware of the pilot's use of medications. A review of the pilot's latest FAA medical certificate application revealed that he had checked "No" to "Do you currently use any medication?" and "No" in response to all medical conditions listed under "Medical History," including specifically, "Mental disorders of any sort; depression, anxiety, etc."

The pilot received an abbreviated weather briefing, and was advised that visual flight rules flight was not recommended. Weather at the time of the accident, at the accident site as reported to the Virginia State Police by the National Weather Service, included a 100-foot ceiling with fog, and visibility 5 miles. The accident occurred at dusk.

The nearest weather reporting airport, at the airplane's time of departure, was in Martinsville, Virginia, about 8 nm to the northwest. Weather recorded there at 1640, and at 1740, included clear skies and visibility 10 miles.

Danville, Virginia, is located between the departure airport and the accident site. Weather recorded at the airport in Danville, at 1756, included scattered clouds at 1,100 feet and visibility 6 miles in mist.

The airport at Reidsville did not record weather observations; however, the airport in Greensboro did. Weather, recorded there, at 1754, included scattered clouds at 7,500 feet and visibility 6 miles in mist. Weather, recorded at 1854, included a few clouds at 300 feet, no published ceiling, and visibility 1.5 miles in mist.

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