NTSB: Pilot In Muskogee Crash Shouldn't Have Flown

Thursday, April 9th 2009, 3:02 pm
By: News On 6


MUSKOGEE, OK -- The National Transportation Safety Board says a pilot killed in a plane crash in Muskogee last summer should not have been certified to fly.

Ronald Dickey died when his single-engine, kit-built plane crashed near a nursing home on August 11th.

He was a 59-year-old engineer who was commuting from his home near Memphis to a job in the Texas panhandle town of Borger.

8/11/2008 Related story: Fatal Plane Crash Victim Identified

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the medical examiner found the anti-depressant Celexa in the pilot's body.

The NTSB factual report says he'd denied using any medication on his last medical application and would not have been certified to fly by the FAA if he'd admitted to taking the drug.

According to the NTSB, he also would have been warned not to fly while taking this medication.

The report also says he denied having any kind of mental disorder, including specifically depression.

Read the NTSB report

According to the report, Dickey was flying an RV-6A which he had built in his garage. 

The NTSB report says the pilot had 605.2 hours of flight time, with 132 hours in the RV-6A.

The report says he was flying west at an altitude of 4,500 feet above sea level on the afternoon of August 11th, 2008, when the plane turned south and then east and began to climb about 11 miles from the crash scene. 

When the plane reached an altitude of 8,500 feet above sea level it began a right "corkscrew" pattern, before starting to quickly lose altitude.

Two witnesses reported seeing the plane just before impact and both reported that the airplane sounded as though it was in trouble.

They both described the plane as heading straight down.

The plane impacted in a parking lot.

No one on the ground was hurt.

It could be another few months before the NTSB releases its "probable cause" report on the crash.

According to the NTSB, this was the second crash in Oklahoma in 2008 involving a pilot who was taking anti-drepessants.

In the first one, 72-year-old Clair Tromsness of Miami died when his small plane crashed on the Will Rogers turnpike in Ottawa County on April 28th, 2008.

The NTSB faulted the pilot and the FAA for that crash.

Related story:  1/30/2009 Pilot, FAA Blamed In Fatal Oklahoma Plane Crash