ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 175082
Last updated: 25 April 2019
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:03-APR-2015
Time:12:30
Type:Quicksilver Enterprises MXL II
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N476VB
C/n / msn: 062
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Near the Petaluma Municipal Airport (O69), Petaluma, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Petaluma, CA (O69)
Destination airport:Petaluma, CA (O69)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The student pilot was conducting a local area flight in daytime visual meteorological conditions. Multiple witnesses located near the accident site reported observing the airplane maneuvering over the area. Two witnesses reported seeing the airplane in a steep descent with the wings folded upward before it impacted the ground.

Postaccident examination of the accident site and the airplane revealed signatures consistent with a high-speed, near-vertical impact with terrain. No evidence was found of any preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

It's likely that while maneuvering, the pilot lost control of the airplane, which resulted in a steep descent from which the pilot did not recover. During the vertical descent, the airplane's structural capabilities were exceeded, and the wing spars failed in overstress. The pilot had applied for a medical certificate in 2003 and 2004: however, he did not provide all the information requested by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and his application was denied. Review of FAA medical records revealed that the pilot had a history of a traumatic brain injury; however, based on a review of the information that the pilot provided in 2004, it is unlikely that the long term effects from the pilot's traumatic brain injury contributed to the accident.

Postaccident toxicology testing identified tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component in marijuana, in the pilot's blood and various tissues, and diphenhydramine, an over-the-counter allergy and sleep aid medication, in the pilot's blood The levels of THC found in tissues suggested that it was not used recently. Therefore, it is unlikely that the pilot's use of marijuana caused impairment or contributed to the accident. However, the level of diphenhydramine found suggested that, at the time of the accident, the pilot was likely impaired by his use of diphenhydramine.




Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while maneuvering, which resulted in an uncontrolled descent and structural failure. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's impairment from his use of diphenhydramine.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20150403X34847&key=1
FAA register: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=476VB


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
03-Apr-2015 23:33 Geno Added
03-Apr-2015 23:35 Geno Updated [Narrative]
03-Apr-2015 23:45 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Narrative, Plane category]
04-Apr-2015 05:02 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Source]
04-Apr-2015 05:03 Geno Updated [Source]
14-Apr-2015 16:06 Geno Updated [Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
01-Dec-2017 13:02 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description