Pilot flies Plane into Tower — (Flying Magazine)

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Flying Magazine

April, 2001

Piper PA – 25, Sullivan, Missouri – 1 fatality

The pilot departed with charts which did not depict accurately the area the airplane overflew.   He continued VFR flight into IMC conditions.  The airplane was not equipped nor certified for flight in instrument conditions.   While in cruise flight, the airplane impacted a 971′ tower 30′ below the top.    A witness at the accident site indicated that visibility was restricted to 100 yards in fog.

Toxicological tests on blood from the pilot revealed high levels of fluoxetine (Prozac) and norfluoxetine (metabolite of fluoxetine).

Probable Cause:  The pilot’s VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions in an airplane not equipped for flight into IMC.    Factors were the pilot’s inadequate pre-flight preparation and his inadequate evaluation of the weather and fog.