CECIL, Walter L.

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CECIL, Walter L. (1955-1999), pilot killed when his Aerostar 600 [N97cc] crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Avalon, Santa Catalina Island on November 21, 1999. He had departed from Fullerton Airport, and was performing a post maintenance check flight about 20 miles offshore. He was receiving visual flight advisories from a terminal radar approach facility while in level flight about 4,900 feet msl. Subsequently, the airplane started slowing then descending in a right spiral, and radar contact was lost about 1,000 feet msl. The pilot's body was recovered from the ocean. According to the autopsy report, the pilot had experienced sudden cardiac death secondary to an acute myocardial infarction due to atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. Tramadol, a painkiller not approved by the FAA for flight, was detected in a drug screen and may have masked the chest pain. CAUSE: The pilot's in-flight loss of control due to physical incapacitation from sudden cardiac death secondary to an acute myocardial infarction.



In the News~

November 23, 1999 LAT]: “Investigators on Monday identified the pilot who died Sunday when his twin-engine Piper Aerostar crashed into choppy waters between Newport Beach and Santa Catalina Island. Using his fingerprints, investigators with the Los Angeles County Coroner's office identified Walter L. Cecil, 44, of Placentia as the man flying the plane when it crashed about 12 miles from Newport Beach.”