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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44225
Last updated: 7 September 2019
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Date:13-JAN-2006
Time:18:19
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA30 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N7291Y
C/n / msn: 30-329
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Visalia Municipal Airport, Visalia, Tulare County, California -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Byron, CA (C83)
Destination airport:Visalia, CA (VIS)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The airplane stalled while the pilot was turning from the base leg to final at his home based airport and impacted the ground in an uncontrolled descent. The airplane came to rest 410 feet from the approach end of the active runway. The ground scars and wreckage deformation signatures indicated the ground impact occurred with a high vertical component and very little horizontal energy. Night visual meteorological conditions existed with calm winds. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any mechanical anomaly to preclude normal operation of the engines or the airplane control systems. No personal flight records were located for the pilot. Based on interviews with acquaintances and family members, the pilot flew often. On his most recent Federal Aviation Administration airman medical application, dated about 1 year prior to the accident, he noted a total flight time of 5,700 flight hours with 75 hours flown in the past 6 months. Review of the pilot's medical records from his personal physician revealed that the pilot had been experiencing back pain that seemed to significantly interfere with his ability to sleep. The toxicological results were positive for extremely high levels of doxylamine, a highly sedating over-the-counter antihistamine, often used in sleep aids such as Unisom Sleep Tabs. The substance had likely accumulated due to daily use and/or use in excess of the maximum recommended dose. The pilot was likely having difficulty obtaining adequate and/or qualitative sleep.
Probable Cause: the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed during the landing approach, which resulted in a stall and uncontrolled descent. Contributing factors to the accident were the pilot's impairment due to his prolonged use of a highly sedating over-the-counter sleep aid and fatigue due to lack of sleep.


Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20060120X00103&key=1
FAA register: 2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=7291Y


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
11-Apr-2017 17:00 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
11-Apr-2017 18:05 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
11-Apr-2017 18:06 Dr.John Smith Updated [Aircraft type]
05-Dec-2017 09:00 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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