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N15326 accident description

Massachusetts map... Massachusetts list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city New Bedford, MA
41.636215°N, 70.934205°W
Tail number N15326
Accident date 25 Apr 1998
Aircraft type Piper PA-32-300
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On April 25, 1998, about 2230 Eastern Daylight Time, a Piper PA-32-300, N15326, was substantially damaged during a collision with terrain after takeoff from the New Bedford Airport, New Bedford, Massachusetts. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to a witness at the airport, the pilot landed at the New Bedford Airport (EWB) the morning of the accident. Another witness observed the airplane that evening after it took off. The witness stated that the airplane departed Runway 5, and after liftoff, it "...went straight up in the air like a acrobat..." The airplane then appeared to level off, turn northwest, then northeast, followed by "a nose dive," and descent to the ground.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector revealed that a control locking device, with a locked pad lock, was installed on the right hand flight control column. The pad lock key was found on the key ring with the airplane's ignition key. The airplane's ignition was off, and the ignition key had been removed. Additionally, the pilot's shoulder harness was not locked in position.

Toxicological testing was conducted at the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The testing revealed:

155 mg/dL ETHANOL detected in Blood 187 mg/dL ETHANOL detected in Vitreous 205 mg/dL ETHANOL detected in Urine

A review of 14 CFR Part 91.17, stated, "(a) No Person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft...(4) While having a .04 percent by weight or more alcohol in the blood."

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's impairment due to alcohol, which resulted in an inadequate preflight examination and subsequent takeoff with a control lock installed.

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