The pilot’s son reported that he saw his father’s Beech A36 initiate a slow taxi for departure from the airport in Fryeburg, Maine, drift right off the taxiway, and then come to rest next to a snow bank. The son found the pilot slumped over the control yoke, and he was subsequently transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The pilot reported no significant medical history on his medical certificate application, and no health issues were identified during his most recent physical examination.
However, the pilot’s wife reported that he had a history of heart disease. An autopsy revealed severe coronary artery atherosclerosis, an enlarged heart, and evidence of hypertensive heart disease, and the autopsy report stated that the cause of death was “severe coronary artery atherosclerosis.”
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s incapacitation due to a cardiac event during taxi.
NTSB Identification: ERA14LA084
This January 2014 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.