NTSB Cites Drugs In Fatal Crash

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image: KNOE-8

image: KNOE-8

The private pilot who was taking a lesson in a Champion 7KCAB agricultural airplane that crashed last July in Oak Ridge, La., was impaired by his "recent use of marijuana and hydroxychloroquine," the NTSB said in its probable-cause report, released on Monday. That impairment was cited as a contributing cause to the accident. The probable cause was the private pilot and the flight instructor's failure to maintain airplane control while performing agricultural operations turns low to the ground, which resulted in a stall/spin, the safety board said. The purpose of the flight was to practice aerial spray passes and ag-turns. Both pilots were killed in the crash.

Hydroxychloroquine can be used to prevent malaria or to treat conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. "The pilot did not report a history of these medical conditions or the use of this drug to the FAA," the NTSB said. Possible side effects of the drug include nausea and dizziness, according to the National Institutes of Health. The NTSB also calculated that the airplane was over gross by at least 32 pounds and outside/aft the center of gravity envelope.