Originally created 12/05/01

NTSB report released on Allgood crash

The National Transportation Safety Board has officially blamed the August 2000 plane crash that killed a former state senator on the pilot..

A final report appeared on the NTSB's web site this morning - a year and four months after the Piper Malibu Mirage carrying Thomas Allgood Sr., 71; his wife, Thelma, 61; and their dog Oz exploded upon impact with a brick wall outside Daniel Field.

The probable cause, according to the report, was improper preflight planning and preparation by pilot Stephen Patterson, 51, who took off with a cargo load well above the Piper's weight limit.

Other factors included taking off from a short, upward-sloping runway, and Mr. Patterson's elevated glucose level at the time, according to the NTSB.

A toxicology exam showed Mr. Patterson's glucose level at 1,175 mg/dl in a urine sample. Medical records revealed he had hypertension and diet-controlled diabetes, the NTSB report said.

Dr. Ian Herskowitz, an endocrinologist at University Hospital specializing in metabolic disorders, said normal blood glucose levels range from 70 to 110 mg/dl before eating, and no higher than 140 after. High levels can affect mental and cognitive abilities, but a number obtained from a urine sample rather than a blood sample is difficult to interpret without knowing more about the patient, he said.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com


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