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N12219 accident description

Massachusetts map... Massachusetts list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city New Salem, MA
42.433423°N, 72.349529°W
Tail number N12219
Accident date 09 Dec 1997
Aircraft type Cessna 172M
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On December 9, 1997, about 1430 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172M, N12219, was destroyed when it impacted a reservoir while maneuvering near New Salem, Massachusetts. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured, and one passenger was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed the Skylark Airpark Airport, Warehouse Point, Connecticut, at 1200. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a telephone interview, the passenger stated that the pilot performed several touch go landings at a nearby airport and then proceeded to the Quabin Reservoir. While over the reservoir, the passenger felt the airplane seemed low and asked the pilot, "why don't you pull up a little bit?" The pilot stated that the view is better down low and sarcastically asked the passenger, "what, are you scared?" The airplane's wheels then contacted the water and the airplane flipped over. The passenger stated the pilot was adjusting a rotating wheel in the airplane's center console just prior to the impact.

The passenger indicated several times that there were no abnormalities with the airplane's engine, and it was running right up to impact.

Additionally, the passenger reported the water over the reservoir appeared very smooth, like a sheet of ice.

On December 10, 1997, the airplane was recovered from the reservoir; however, the engine was separated and was not recovered until August 26, 1998. Examination of the airframe by an FAA Inspector did not disclose any evidence of mechanical malfunctions. During the examination, flight control continuity was confirmed for all primary flight controls.

The toxicological testing report from the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was positive for drugs and negative for alcohol for the pilot. The report stated:

>>>>Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (Marihuana was detected in Blood. 0.012>>>>(ug/ml) Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (Marihuana) was detected in Urine. 0.043>>>>(ug/ml) Benzoylecgonine detected in Blood. 4.796>>>>(ug/ml) Benzoylecgonine detected in Urine. 0.040>>>>(ug/ml) Cocaine detected in Urine. 0.013>>>>(ug/ml) Chlorpheniramine detected in Blood. >>>>Chlorpheniramine was detected in Urine. >>>>Diphenhydramine was detected in Urine. >>>>Ephedrine was detected in Blood. >>>>Pseudoephedrine was detected in Blood. >>>>Ephedrine was detected in Urine. >>>>Pseudoephedrine was detected in Urine.

Part of Federal Aviation Regulation, Part 91.17 "Alcohol or drugs" stated:

"(a) No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft- 1. Within 8 hours after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage; 2. While under the influence of alcohol; 3. While using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety; or 4. While having .04 percent by weight or more alcohol in the blood."

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate altitude/clearance above the water due to his impairment by drugs. A factor in this accident was the glassy water condition.

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