The non-certificated pilot was conducting his first flight in the unregistered Quicksilver MX2, which he purchased several months before the accident.
No logbook entries were found indicating whether he had previous flight experience.
He flew for about 30 minutes near his home in Poplarville, Miss., before making a low pass over a field about 50 feet above ground level.
Witnesses heard the engine power increase as the airplane approached a line of trees. The left wing hit a tree and the plane hit the ground.
A witness reported that the pilot had been consuming alcohol earlier in the day. Results from toxicological testing indicated the presence of alcohol in the pilot’s blood, however the amount detected in the blood was lower than the level that the FAA has determined pilots may fly, although any amount may be impairing
In addition, toxicological testing found narcotic pain medications in the pilot’s urine and other tissues; however none of these were found in the pilot’s blood, which suggests that he likely used narcotics several days before the accident.
Therefore, the extent of the pilot’s impairment due to use of alcohol and narcotic medications could not be determined.
The NTSB determined the probable cause was the pilot’s decision to make the flight and his failure to maintain clearance from trees while maneuvering at a low altitude.
NTSB Identification: ERA13LA136
This February 2013 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.