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View Full Version : Pilot In Fatal Crash Failed To Disclose Meds

01-22-2004, 03:23 AM
Authorities Believe Drugs, Weather Played Part In Crash

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Prescription drugs played a part in the crash of a small plane that killed its pilot and a passenger, according to a newly released report by the National Transportation Safety Board, KMBC's Emily Aylward reported.

The crash took place in July 2002. Shortly after takeoff, a small Piper Cherokee plane that carried two local ministers plummeted out of the sky and smashed into a house in Lee's Summit. Although it had been a sunny morning, a fog had moved in, and the pilot was not rated to fly by instruments alone. Investigators say that fact, along with a combination of medicines taken by the pilot compromised the flight.

The Rev. Roger Goodwin, 62, piloted the aircraft. His passenger was 47-year-old Charles Wilson, also a local minister. Both men were killed in the crash. Two people inside the home were not injured.

NTSB authorities said Goodwin (pictured, below) was taking a daily painkiller called Tramadol and was also fighting a cold. The report said the level of Tramadol found in Goodwin's blood after the crash was "several times higher than the maximum expected from the dose prescribed to the pilot." The report also said a "significant risk of abuse and dependence" with Tramadol has been reported in medical studies.

Dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant, was also in Goodwin's blood. Melanie Perkins, a local pain-management clinician said the over-the-counter drug can cause drowsiness. Based on the NTSB report, Perkins guessed the pilot was made nauseous, tired and confused from the combination of medicines.

"He started getting the sniffles and took something over-the-counter, thinking it was safe, and that compounded with other medications he was on," Perkins said.

The report also noted that the pilot suffered from several illnesses -- including chronic fatigue, panic attacks and fibromyalia -- but did not report them to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The company that rented the plane to Goodwin, Midwest Executive Aircraft, said the NTSB results were "very disturbing." The company added that it did not know Goodwin was on the medications, even though its policy is that pilots must disclose all ailments prior to takeoff.

source: TheKansasCityChannel.com (http://www.TheKansasCityChannel.com/news/2779800/detail.html)