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N49369 accident description

Massachusetts map... Massachusetts list
Crash location 42.257500°N, 73.227500°W
Nearest city Tyringham, MA
42.245922°N, 73.199550°W
1.6 miles away
Tail number N49369
Accident date 19 Jun 2003
Aircraft type Aviat A-1
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On June 19, 2003, at 1725 eastern daylight time, an Aviat A-1 Husky, N49369, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while departing a private airstrip near Tyringham, Massachusetts. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from the Ellington Airport, Ellington, Connecticut. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

A witness near the accident site reported observing the airplane approach the airstrip heading north. The airplane then reversed its direction and began to head south. The witness then heard the airplane's engine quit, followed by the sound of a crash.

A second witness, who also observed the airplane approach the airstrip from the south, stated that the airplane descend below the tree line, as if it had landed. He then observed the airplane depart the airstrip in the reverse direction from which it had approached; however; he lost sight of it as it passed the departure end of the airstrip. The witness then recalled hearing the engine suddenly quit, followed by the sound of an impact about 1 second later.

The airplane came to rest about 300 yards beyond the airstrip, in a near vertical attitude, alongside a riverbank, where a post-crash fire ensued.

The accident occurred during the hours of darkness, at 41 degrees, 24.40 minutes north longitude, 70 degrees, 35.90 minutes west latitude, at an elevation of 55 feet.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate, with ratings for single-engine and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate was issued on January 30, 2002. At the time, he reported approximately 2,100 hours of flight experience.

The pilot's flight logbook was not recovered during the investigation.


The airplane's most recent annual inspection was performed on August 27, 2002. At that time, the airplane had accumulated approximately 406 hours of operation.


The reported weather about the time of the accident, at Pittsfield Airport (PSF), Pittsfield, Massachusetts, about 13 nautical miles to the north, included winds from 330 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, and clear skies.


The wreckage was examined at the accident site on June 20, 2003. The surrounding area consisted of flat land with scattered outcroppings of 40-foot trees, and a meandering, 20-foot-wide river.

About 18 feet north of the wreckage was an outcrop of three trees. Fractured limbs were observed at the top of one of the trees. Blue paint transfer was observed on the fracture surfaces.

All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The exposed airframe structure was intact and oriented about a 030-degree magnetic heading.

The left wing remained attached to the fuselage. It exhibited impact damage along the leading edge. The fuel tank was ruptured and melted. The left flap was observed in the retracted position.

The right wing also remained attached to the fuselage and was bent forward, with the outer portion of the wing resting in water. The wing, with some painted blue fabric remaining, was crushed along the leading edge. The fuel tank remained intact; however, the upward-facing edge of the tank exhibited evidence of outward bursting. The right flap was observed in the retracted position.

The cockpit area was crushed, and the instrument panel was destroyed. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all control surfaces to cockpit.

The engine remained attached to the fuselage; however, it was submerged in approximately 4 feet of water.

The engine was examined at a recovery facility on July 29, 2003, and no abnormalities were noted.


Under the direction of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Health, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, an autopsy on the pilot was performed on June 20, 2003.

Review of the autopsy report by the Safety Board Medical Officer revealed:

The "Final Anatomic Diagnoses" included: "Multiple traumatic injuries," "Hypertrophy of heart," "Arteriosclerosis," and "Acute intramural hemorrhage." "Clinical Summary" noted in part that the pilot had "a past medical history of coronary heart disease, mild asthma, and prostatitis."

Medical Officer review of medical records provided under subpoena by the New York Presbyterian Hospital revealed:

Emergency room notes recorded on March 29, 1999 indicated "...history of hypertension, elevated cholesterol, coronary artery disease ...presents with 1 week of worsening jaundice ... recent travel to Chile ... daily fevers ... Past surgical history:

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty 6 years ago (3 vessel, 'failed') no chest pain on meds .. Meds: Zocor [simvastatin], Cardizem [diltiazem], atenolol ... Assessment ... acute hepatitis - most likely viral ..."

On the pilot's application for a third class medical certificate, issued on February 7, 2000, the pilot indicated on the application, "No" in response to "Do You Currently Use Any Medication," and to "Heart or vascular trouble," "High or low blood pressure," and "Stomach, liver, or intestinal trouble." The pilot indicated "Yes" in response to "Admission to hospital," and "Other illness, disability, or surgery." Under "Explanations," the pilot noted, "NY Hospital - Hepatitis E ... 2/99 ..." Under the Aviation Medical Examiner's "Comments on History and Findings" it was noted, "...Hepatitis E in Chile, no sequelae, followup in NYC Hospital..."

On the pilot's most recent application for a third class medical certificate, issued on January 30, 2002, he indicated on the application, "No" in response to "Do You Currently Use Any Medication," and to all entries under "Medical History," including specifically: "Heart or vascular trouble," "High or low blood pressure," "Stomach, liver, or intestinal trouble," "Admission to hospital," and "Other illness, disability, or surgery." Under "Explanations," the pilot noted, "NY Hospital ... 2/99 ..."

The FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma conducted toxicological testing on the pilot. This testing noted 11% carbon monoxide detected in the blood, and atenolol and diltiazem detected in blood and urine.


Wreckage Release

The airplane wreckage was released on July 29, 2003, to a representative of the owners insurance company.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's incapacitation due to a heart attack, which resulted in a loss of aircraft control.

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