Toxicological Findings in Fatally Injured Pilots of 979 Amateur-Built Aircraft Accidents
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROSPACE MEDICAL INST
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Biological samples collected from fatally injured pilots in aviation accidents involving all types of aircraft, including amateur-built aircraft, are submitted to the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute CAMI for accident investigation. These samples are analyzed for fire gases, ethanol, and drugs. Trends of amateur-built aircraft accidents and toxicological findings in the associated pilot fatalities have not been examined. Amateur-built aircraft accidents that occurred during 1990-2009 were evaluated by retrieving necessary information from the CAMI toxicology database. Probable cause and factor in the amateur-built aircraft mishaps were obtained from the National Transportation Safety Boards NTSBs aviation accident database. Of 6309 aviation accidents from which CAMI received postmortem samples, 979 16 were related to amateur-built aircraft. The highest number of aviation mishaps occurred during summer, which was true with amateur-built as well as with all other aircraft. There was a decreasing trend in accidents of non-amateur-built aircraft, whereas there was an increasing trend in accidents of amateur-built aircraft. In the 979 accidents pilots, 392 were positive for ethanol andor drugs. Ethanol was found in 29 pilots, drugs in 345, and ethanol plus drugs in 18. For ethanoldrug-related accidents also, a decreasing trend was observed with non-amateur-built aircraft and an increasing trend with amateur-built aircraft. Of the 392 amateur-built aircraft, 388 99 were flying under the general aviation category. In the 392 pilots, 238 61 held private pilot flying certificates and 260 66 third-class airman medical certificates. The spectrum of drugs found in the amateur-built aircraft accident pilot fatalities was consistent with commonly used drugs in the general population.
- Civilian Aircraft
- Commercial and General Aviation