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N4609P accident description

Arkansas map... Arkansas list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Carlisle, AR
34.783147°N, 91.746523°W
Tail number N4609P
Accident date 11 Jul 1995
Aircraft type WSK PZL Mielec PZL-M-18
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 11, 1995, at 0650 central daylight time, a WSK-PZL-MIELEC PZL-M-18, N4609P, was destroyed while maneuvering near Carlisle, Arkansas. The commercial pilot was fatally injured and one person on the ground received minor injuries. The airplane was being operated by Almond Flying Service under Title 14 CFR Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local aerial application flight and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from a private airstrip 33 minutes before the accident.

On the enclosed witness statements and the Pilot/Operator Report, the following information was reported. The flight departed at 0617 for spraying a familiar area. During the fourth swath, the flight path was directly in line with a grain elevator located at the approach end of the bean field. Examination of trees and "obstructions disclosed no contact with anything." The pilot "apparently misjudged start of pull up and created an accelerated stall after clearing the elevators." Subsequently the airplane struck the "ridge line of the dryer roof" of the elevator building. The airplane subsequently impacted a concrete building during the uncontrolled descent.

The operator and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the accident site and the airplane. Structural damage was found to the roof of the grain dryer elevator and the concrete building. The leading edge of the right wing was found crushed inward toward the wing spar and portions of a lightning wire from the grain elevator was wrapped about the right wing tip. Propeller blades exhibited bending and twisting with scratches and gouges. The inspector stated that a person on the ground was struck by a brick.

The autopsy was performed by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory at Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Salazar, FAA Southwest Regional Flight Surgeon, noted the pathology report indicated "several areas of healing ulceration; these lesions had an appearance consistent with healing burns." Toxicological findings were positive. According to Dr. Canfield of the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the level of "0.087 (ug/ml, ug/g) Norpropoxyphene (Darvocet) detected in blood and 0.787 ug/ml, ug/g) Norpropoxyphene detected in the urine; 0.638 (ug/ml, ug/g) Butalbital (Fioricet) etected in blood and 0.394 (, ug/g) Butalbital detected in urine, both pain medications; Chlorpheniramine (antihistimine) detected in blood approximately and urine; Pseudoephedrine (decongestant) detected in urine; Phenylpropanolamine (antihistimine) detected in urine, and 81.100 (ug/ml, ug/g) Acetaminophen detected in urine, are each below therapeutic level." However, "neither Dsarvocet, Fiocet, nor antihistamines are acceptable to the FAA for use while flying." The "combined effect of these medications would be additive and may cause impairment of judgment in the cockpit." In addition, the "underlying medical condition(s) for which the medications were prescribed/purchased, may have contributed to the discomfort or distraction of the pilot."

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot delayed pull-up from a swath run and failed to maintain clearance from the obstruction (grain elevator). A factor relating to the accident was: the pilot's use of medications that were not approved for use while flying.

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