This December 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Cessna 210. Location: Bloomfield, Ky. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The private pilot’s logbook showed he had logged 1,650 hours, including 500 in the Cessna 210. He was instrument rated and had about 100 hours of actual instrument experience and 150 hours of simulated instrument experience. The pilot’s last flight review and instrument proficiency check were completed on April 20, 2007.
The recorded radar data showed that the airplane was heading northwest towards the destination airport, descending through an altitude of 6,800 feet MSL at a constant rate of about 650 fpm. The flight was in VFR conditions but there were clouds in the vicinity. The airplane began a turn to the north. The airplane’s angle of bank reached about 50° and exceeded the aircraft’s published structural cruise speed by 20 knots. Trajectory calculations showed that a breakup of the airplane occurred about five seconds later.
The debris field heading was in a southeasterly direction located in close proximity to the last three radar returns. Based on available weather data at the time of the accident, the airplane was likely in visual meteorological conditions until just prior to the breakup. All of the fracture surfaces examined exhibited features consistent with static overload and no evidence of metal fatigue.
Probable cause: The pilot exceeded the design stress limits of the airplane, which resulted in the in-flight break up. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s loss of control due to spatial disorientation.
For more information: NTSB.gov