Investigation: Alcohol caused Lufkin doctor's plane crash

Photo courtesy of WLBT.
Photo courtesy of WLBT.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An investigation has determined that a Lufkin doctor crashed his plane because he had been drinking, causing the death of himself and two other people.

The NTSB investigation listed the probable cause as "the pilot's impairment due to alcohol ingestion and his failure to maintain airplane control during an approach at night in instrument meteorological conditions."

According to the report, Taylor Pickett, 52, arrived at the New Orleans airport at 3:20 a.m. on April 10 after going to a bar. Pickett did not obtain a weather briefing or file an instrument flight rules flight plan.

After leaving the airport in a Cessna 310R at 4:08 a.m., Pickett reported to air traffic control that he had the destination airport in sight at McComb, Miss., at 4:23 a.m.

The report states that clouds kept Pickett from seeing the airport and he overflew it. He then took a left turn before crashing the plane.

Toxicological testing revealed that Pickett was "impaired due to alcohol ingestion," according to the report. The report states that the investigation did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions on the plane.

Pickett and his wife, Laura Pickett, 22, and his sister-in-law, Jacqueline Ham died in the accident.

Pickett was a thoracic surgeon on staff at Lufkin Memorial Hospital.

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