Commercial Pilot Crashes Small Aircraft — (NTSB)

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NTSB Aviation Accident and Incident Data System (NTSB) Brief Report(s)


On April 27, 2013, about 0830 eastern daylight time, a Dean Highlander experimental amateur-built airplane, N58LD, impacted terrain after executing a go-around at Bryan Aero Park, Bryan, Ohio. The commercial pilot was fatally injured and the passenger sustained serious injuries.  The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

The airplane was registered to an operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (KARB), Ann Arbor, Michigan about 0715. The passenger onboard the Highlander airplane reported that they were approaching the runway to the east when the pilot noticed another airplane, a Taylorcraft, on the runway.  The pilot then commented to the passenger about it landing in the opposite direction. At the time, the airplane was at a low altitude so the pilot turned the airplane to the left and advanced the throttle. The passenger observed the Taylorcraft take off and make a right turn which conflicted with the flight path of the Highlander. The pilot of the Highlander executed a hard left turn with about 45 degrees of bank and advanced the throttle to full forward. The Highlander started to get slow so the pilot applied full right aileron and nothing happened. The airplane was very slow at this point and continued to turn left until it impacted terrain.


The pilot, age 62, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane issued on July 28, 1976. He was issued a second class medical certificate on February 24, 1989 with no restrictions.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Lucas County Coroner’s Office, Toledo, Ohio, on April 29, 2013. The pilot’s cause of death was listed as multiple blunt trauma and the manner of death was an accident.  The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute prepared a Final Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report. Toxicology testing was negative for alcohol but identified fexofenadine (Allegra) and its primary metabolite, azacyclonol, in liver as well as atorvastatin (another cholesterol lowering agent). The medications administered during post-accident medical care were also identified.  Salicylate (aspirin) was identified in urine.  Sertraline (Zoloft) and its primary metabolite, desmethylsertraline, were found in muscle and liver.  Sertraline was also identified in blood at 0.122 ug/mL. During the investigation, a medication card for the pilot was found at the accident site and listed the following medications for the pilot: lisinopril (used to treat hypertension), metformin (marketed under the trade name Glucophage, used to treat diabetes), Byetta (exenatide, an injectable medication used to treat diabetes), sertraline, a serotonin specific re-uptake inhibitor used to treat depression, Zocor (simvastatin, a cholesterol lowering agent) and Allegra (fexofenadine, a non-sedating antihistamine).