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On May 14, 2008, approximately 1815 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182P, N4660K, sustained substantial damage following a hard landing at Santa Maria Public Airport (SMX), Santa Maria, California. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local, personal flight, which had originated approximately 55 minutes before the accident. No flight plan had been filed.
The pilot reported that after returning from a local area flight, he informed the tower controller of his intentions for a left downwind, full stop landing. The pilot was given clearance and instructed that he was number two for landing. The pilot reported that the airplane touched down on the mains and bounced. The pilot added power to stabilize the landing, however, the nose gear collapsed.
Witnesses to the accident reported that the airplane landed on runway 30 and bounced repeatedly until the nose landing gear collapsed.
Inspection of the airplane found that the engine firewall was wrinkled and the fuselage structure around the nose landing gear was damaged.
First responders to the accident site called for the on-airport law enforcement officer to respond to the accident site as they suspected that the pilot was intoxicated. Shortly thereafter, the Santa Maria Police Department tested the pilot for alcohol intoxication. The first breath test was conducted at 1933, and resulted in a .24 percent blood alcohol content (BAC); a second breath test was performed at 1937, and resulted in a .23 percent BAC. The pilot was subsequently taken into custody.
The pilot initially reported to law enforcement that he had a bad cold and had taken Vicks Cold Medicine that morning. In the pilot's statement to the National Transporation Safety Board, the pilot reported that he had been taking a cold medicine that had been given to him as a Christmas gift, and he did not know the ingredients. He reported that it was a homemade mixture that came from Tennessee.
A review of the pilot's medical records maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aerospace Medical Certification Division indicated that the pilot reported to the FAA a DUI with license suspension on August 21, 2006. No records were found indicating that any details of the license suspension were provided by the pilot or that such details were pursued by the FAA prior to the aircraft accident. No FAA action was noted in response to the reported DUI. The arrest report for that DUI was obtained by the NTSB and indicated a blood alcohol content of 0.10 and the possession of cocaine at the time of arrest.
The pilot's most recent medical certificate dated April 14, 2008, indicates that on that application, the pilot indicated, "yes" in response to item 18.v. "history of any conviction(s) involving driving while intoxicated by, while impaired by, or while under the influence of alcohol or a drug...." He gave no further explanations.
There is no further information dated prior to the accident in the FAA medical records regarding the pilot's prior history of driving while intoxicated, and no indications that the FAA requested any additional information.