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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45027
Last updated: 1 August 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C150 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 150H
Registration: N23178
C/n / msn: 15068774
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Bruceton Mills, WV -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Valley Point, WV (WV29)
Destination airport:Bruceton Mills, WV
Investigating agency: NTSB
A witness observed the non-certificated pilot arrive at the airport, drinking a quart of beer that was approximately half full. The pilot appeared "sleepy eyed," and shortly after his arrival, fell asleep in a chair. Approximately 40 minutes later, the pilot woke up, "staggered" around, and then asked the witness if he was going to fly. The witness informed the pilot that the weather was too bad to fly (300-foot overcast ceiling; 0-1 mile visibility), and the pilot left the hangar. Several minutes later, the witness heard the accident airplane takeoff and fly for about 15 minutes. A second witness stated she could hear an airplane flying, but could only see its silhouette through the fog. The witness observed the airplane make two passes over a field in her backyard. During the second pass, the witness observed the airplane level just above the tree tops, and descending, with the engine running. She then heard the sound of the throttle being "cut," and thought the pilot was trying to make a landing to "get out of the weather." Shortly after, the airplane impacted a trailer in the witnesses backyard. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no pre-impact mechanical anomalies. Examination of a handheld GPS unit, revealed the airplane departed from runway 26 at Valley Point Airport, and headed west. It then circled to the south, and then headed north for about 5-6 miles and then impacted the ground. Weather reported at an airport about 12 miles west of the accident site included an overcast cloud layer at 300 feet, and 1 1/2 miles visibility with light rain and mist. According to the pilot's autopsy report, the pilot had a blood alcohol level of 0.17%, and toxicological testing performed on the pilot, revealed ETHANOL in his blood and urine.
Probable Cause: The pilot's physical impairment due to alcohol and his improper decision to attempt flight with a low cloud ceiling, low visibility, after consuming alcohol. A related factor in the accident was the low cloud ceiling.



Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
08-Dec-2017 20:20 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]

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