Stoned pilot crashes in lake

Aircraft: Kitfox IV. Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious. Location: Cross Lake, Minn. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The airplane was observed flying low and slow over a lake. It stalled, entered a spin, then hit the water.

The passenger was able to get out of the airplane on his own. The pilot was pinned in the wreckage. A first responder was able to keep the pilot’s head above the water until an ambulance arrived, but the pilot later succumbed to his injuries.

The medical examiner found drug paraphernalia in the pilot’s shirt pocket. The post-accident toxicology testing was consistent with impairment due to the pilot’s use of marijuana prior to the accident.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was his impairment due to marijuana.

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA466

This July 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.


  1. says

    I was shocked to see this story today. A friend of mine lost his BIL and BIL’s fiance in a Kitfox accident–departure stall from a lake. Pilot tested positive for marijuana. It seems history does indeed repeat itself.

    Thoughts with the family and loved ones. Speedy recovery to the passenger.

    NTSB Identification: MIA99LA149
    Accident occurred Tuesday, May 04, 1999 in KANNAPOLIS, NC
    Aircraft: R.O. and D.O Hewitt KITFOX IV-1200, registration: N314PG

    The flight departed VFR from Savannah, Georgia, and landed on Lake Kannapolis, Kannapolis, North Carolina. Witnesses on the lake stated that the airplane remained on the water for approximately 30 minutes. The airplane was positioned on the south end of the lake which has a east-west oriented causway which crosses the lake. The airplane was observed taking off to the north then after becoming airborne, the airplane remained about 5 feet above the water. While approaching the causway, the airplane was observed to pull up into a steep climb, stall, and spin to the left. The witnesses reported hearing the engine operating at what they perceived to be full throttle with no discrepancies noted. Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed no evidence of engine or flight control preimpact failure or malfunction. The airplane was last inspected on October 5, 1996, there was no further condition inspections recorded. Toxicological analysis by the FAA of specimens of the pilot were positive in the blood for tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid. Tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid was also detected in the pilots urine.

    • Sarah A says

      For a member of the older generation who does not text, what in the world is a BIL ???

      As for the accident, it would seem that the pilot was a lot higher then the aircraft. With MJ becoming ever widly available legally we will probably see more of this not to mention other forms of transportation on the ground and water. As if drunk driving/flying was not bad enough now it will be stoned driving/flying and it cannot be detected with a simple breath test (as far as I know)

  2. RudyH says

    Brett, my man……leave the Lord’s involvement out of this late aviator’s mistake ……he brought it on himself..and he’s answering to the very Same over it right now……Yeah, really….plain truth again…

    • Sleepy says

      Well……now rude dee knows the Lord’s affairs. Guess we all have to answer to rude dee’s “plain truth” first then the Almighty’s. Remember rude dee is not a pilot. Is only on this site to promote his “truth” and all the help us lowly pilots will receive when we bow our knees to him and the ama. Since you believe you should be at least equal to the Alpha and Omega you are urged and invited now to again have the last word. As if it were necessary.

      • RudyH says

        Sweepee, the forum *t*r*o*l*l* rummy…….you aren’t an aviator…You FFI constantly…We already told you are not cleared to comment on the fatals….that is One reason we told your A$$ to just plain STFU and watch the pros….got it now?

    • says

      “Right on, Bro”! Sadly, it seems to me adults in children’s bodies will always take foolish and unnecessary risks – and this includes “aviators (pilots) like the “victim” here.

  3. Brett Hawkins says

    Fer Chr***’s sake!! Just what we DO NOT need to read about. Thanks for giving private pilots a bad name, Mr. Selfish.

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