NTSB: Pilot in fatal Minnesota plane crash was stoned

The National Transportation Safety Board has released results of its investigation into a plane crash in Montevideo, Minn., in September 2014 that killed two people.

The pilot was stoned, the NTSB said, using somewhat more clinical language.

Toxicology testing identified tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana, and its metabolites in the pilot’s peripheral blood.

The detected levels of THC and its metabolites indicated that the pilot likely smoked marijuana in the few minutes to 2 hours before the accident, which impaired his decision-making and contributed to his decision to attempt to fly with the airplane significantly over it maximum gross weight in gusting wind conditions.

An autopsy also showed that the pilot’s heart was enlarged; however, no other coronary artery disease was identified.

Although the pilot’s enlarged heart could have caused him symptoms such as shortness of breath or swelling, it would not have impaired his judgment.

The NTSB said the total weight in the airplane was far more than the plane was designed to accommodate, making it impossible to control.

Mark O. Schultz, of Sleepy Eye, Minn., a bank executive; and Steven J. Schultz, 51, of Brooklyn Center, a Medtronic employee, were killed in the crash.

Mark Schultz was the pilot.