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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 147965
Last updated: 14 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic as19 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Schleicher ASW 19B
Registration: N438AS
MSN: 19230
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Zerfass and Meter Roads, Dansville, NY -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Dansville, NY (DSV)
Destination airport:Dansville, NY (DSV)
Investigating agency: NTSB
During the evening before the accident, the glider was assembled, and the pilot flew it for about 30 minutes uneventfully. On the day of the accident, after flying locally for about 3 hours, the glider was about 1 mile from the departure airport when witnesses reported that the glider started rolling back and forth into 90-degree banks. After three or four rolls, the glider descended nose-down to the ground and impacted a field in a flat attitude. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation.
About 3 years before the accident, the pilot underwent a procedure to repair an aneurysm of the ascending aorta combined with placement of a single vessel coronary artery bypass graft. He subsequently received a medical certificate and reported the surgery and that he was taking metoprolol (a beta blocker used to treat hypertension and prevent heart attacks), simvastatin (a cholesterol lowering drug), and lisinopril (a blood pressure medicine). Although the pilotís medical certificate had expired about 1 month before the accident, he was not required to possess a current medical certificate as a glider pilot. Before the accident flight, the pilot remarked to a friend that he was not feeling well. The friend added that the day was very hot and that the pilot did not drink water before the flight or bring any water with him. Autopsy results indicated that there was no evidence to suggest any direct effect of the pilotís cardiovascular disease (heart attack) in his ability to control the glider.
Toxicological testing revealed levels of diphenhydramine in the pilotís blood that were well above therapeutic levels. Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms and as a sleep aid. It is probable that the cognitive and psychomotor impairment caused by diphenhydramine contributed to the pilotís loss of control in this accident.

Probable Cause: The pilotís failure to maintain glider control while maneuvering. Contributing to the accident was the pilotís impairment due to an over-the-counter sedating antihistamine.


FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years 1 month
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

27-Aug-2012 15:29 Geno Added
27-Aug-2012 15:47 Alpine Flight Updated [Aircraft type, Phase]
03-Dec-2017 16:18 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]

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