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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN14FA163
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 19, 2014 in Aurora, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2014
Aircraft: SMITH AEROSTAR 601P, registration: N90464
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot’s friend reported that the pilot planned to fly his recently purchased twin-engine airplane over his friend’s home to show it to him and another friend.  The pilot’s friends and several other witnesses reported observing the pilot performing low-level, high-speed aerobatic maneuvers before the airplane collided with trees and then terrain.
A 1.75-liter bottle of whiskey was found in the airplane wreckage. A review of the pilot’s Federal Aviation Administration medical records revealed that he had a history of alcohol dependence but had reportedly been sober for almost 4 years. Toxicological testing revealed that the pilot had a blood alcohol content of 0.252 milligrams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, which was over six times the limit (0.040) Federal Aviation Regulations allowed for pilots operating an aircraft.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's operation of the airplane while intoxicated, which resulted in a loss of airplane control.