Aircraft: Cessna 150. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Fredericksburg, Va. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: During takeoff in good visibility and calm wind, about 100 feet above ground level, the airplane banked 90° to the left and descended in a spiral until hitting the ground.
The wreckage was located in a residential area, about 1,000 feet from the departure end of the runway. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene.
Toxicological testing of the pilot revealed results consistent with prior consumption of alcohol at levels that could degrade decision-making and psychomotor performance.
Additionally, testing revealed the presence of an antidepressant. Alcohol can aggravate drowsiness caused by the medication; however, the investigation could not determine the degree of interaction between the medication and alcohol.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control during initial climb. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s impairment due to alcohol.
NTSB Identification: ERA12FA583
This August 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.