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N16NM accident description

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Crash location 36.835555°N, 108.023889°W
Nearest city Aztec, NM
36.822226°N, 107.992846°W
1.9 miles away
Tail number N16NM
Accident date 18 May 2013
Aircraft type Peck Norman O Peck P-1
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On May 18, 2013, about 1050 mountain daylight time, an amateur built Peck P-1 airplane, N16NM, was destroyed after it impacted the ground during takeoff from Aztec Municipal Airport (N16), Aztec, New Mexico. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and the flight was being conducted without a flight plan. The flight was departing at the time of the accident.

A witness to the accident stated that he saw the pilot start up the airplane and takeoff on runway 26. Just after becoming airborne, the airplane impacted a berm on the right side of the runway, spun 180 degrees, and was engulfed in fire.

A person who knew the pilot provided information that indicated that the pilot had purchased the airplane about 6 months prior to the accident. He also stated that the pilot had complained about 7-10 days prior to the accident that fuel had been pooling on the floor of the cockpit.


The 62 year old pilot held a private pilot certificate (airplane, single-engine land). He reported 2,500 total hours and 50 hours in the last six months on his last application for a medical certificate. He was last issued a Class-3 medical certificate on June 29, 2012. No pilot logbooks were located during the course of the investigation.


The airplane impacted a berm on the right side of runway 26, turned 180 degrees and came to rest. Fire consumed the majority of the airplane. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the wreckage and determined there was more fire damage to the left side of the engine, but he could not determine if there was a fuel leak there due to the fire damage. He did not identify any pre-impact anomalies with the engine or flight controls.


At 1153 MDT, the weather station at Farmington, New Mexico (FMN), located 11 miles southwest of the accident site, reported wind from 240 at 3 knots, 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 10,000 ft, temperature 69 degrees F, dew point 25 degrees F, and altimeter setting 29.99 inches of mercury.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Office of the Medical Examiner, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The cause of death was determined to be inhalation of products of combustion and thermal injuries.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Diphenhydramine was detected in urine samples. Diphenhydramine was not detected in blood samples.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s loss of airplane control during takeoff for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident fire damage precluded a complete examination of the airplane. 

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