Loss of control Accident Cessna T337H Turbo Super Skymaster N1348L, Saturday 5 January 2002
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Date:Saturday 5 January 2002
Type:Silhouette image of generic C337 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna T337H Turbo Super Skymaster
Owner/operator:Donald Dirian
Registration: N1348L
MSN: 33701840
Year of manufacture:1978
Total airframe hrs:1821 hours
Engine model:Teledyne Continental TSIO-360
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Fullerton Municipal Airport (FUL/KFUL), Buena Park, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Fullerton Municipal Airport, CA (FUL/KFUL)
Destination airport:Fullerton Municipal Airport, CA (FUL/KFUL)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On January 5, 2002, at 1259 Pacific standard time, a Cessna T337H, N1348L, collided with terrain in Buena Park, California. The airplane rolled to a vertical nose down attitude while in a right turn from base to final for landing on runway 06 at Fullerton Municipal Airport, Fullerton, California. The commercial pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot sustained fatal injuries; the collision sequence and post crash fire destroyed the airplane. The personal local flight departed Fullerton about 1245. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The primary wreckage was at 33 degrees 52.161 minutes north latitude and 117 degrees 59.418 minutes west longitude.

The airplane collided with terrain while turning from base to final for landing. The pilot contacted the air traffic control tower approximately 20 miles from the airport. The controller cleared the pilot into the traffic pattern, and shortly thereafter, cleared the airplane to land. The turn to base was early, and the airplane remained high during the base leg and the turn to final. The controller informed the pilot that the landing gear did not appear to be down, and then the airplane rolled to the right. A pilot witness observed the right wing drop 70-80 degrees and the airplane enter a sharp right turn through 180 degrees of rotation. The nose started dropping and after 360 degrees of turn, the nose was down about 70 degrees. to a vertical nose down attitude. After 360 degrees of turn, the nose was down about 70 degrees. In a post accident examination, investigators discovered no preimpact engine or control malfunctions with the airplane. Review of the pilot's personal medical records indicated that he had routinely used a prescription sleep aid (triazolam) and two prescription medications (codeine and butalbital) for the treatment of severe headaches. The pilot noted none of these medications on his applications for a medical certificate. A postmortem toxicological examination of the pilot detected the presence of these medicationscodeine and butalbital, consistent with recent use. Barbiturates (the class of medications which include butalbital) have been shown in many studies to impair judgment and performance; impairment that does not always correlate with subjective effects. They have an effect on the inner ear, and may increase susceptibility to spatial disorientation. Studies have shown residual adverse effects of triazolam on piloting related skills in the morning following its use. Codeine, a narcotic painkiller, has been shown to have mild impairing effects on performance at typical doses.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during the landing approach. Factors included the pilot's distraction when informed that his landing gear was not down, and his impairment from the effects of prescription drugs.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: LAX02FA061
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 8 months
Download report: Final report





Revision history:

15-Oct-2022 07:15 ASN Update Bot Added
28-Jul-2023 07:53 Captain Adam Updated

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