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.