BURBANK : Drug Use Blamed in Fatal 1990 Air Crash


The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded that marijuana use by the pilot was responsible for a plane crash that killed four men at Burbank Airport on Jan. 18, 1990.

"In all aspects of this flight, there were failures which can be traced to the pilot's use of marijuana," board spokesman Brent Bahler said. The pilot allowed the Piper Warrior to carry too heavy a load and did not maintain adequate air speed, he said.

The plane had just taken off on a training flight to Santa Barbara, carrying members of the Pilot's Co-Op flying club, when it crashed.

The board did not identify the pilot. However, four months after the crash, a board investigator reported that tests had shown that one of the victims, Lawrence W. Anderson Jr., 30, of Thousand Oaks, had traces of alcohol and marijuana in his blood when he died. The investigator said it appeared that Anderson, a flight instructor sitting in the co-pilot's seat, was at the controls at the time of the crash.

Also killed were Jeffrey Fader, 28, of Canyon Country, Ingvar H. Gronberg, 27, of Burbank and George E. Kraft, 33, of Marina del Rey, all licensed pilots.

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