NTSB Identification: MIA96LA123.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 20, 1996 in MEBANE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/24/1996
Aircraft: VERNON L. COX COX-HAWK, registration: N7VC
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During cruise flight the pilot encountered adverse weather ahead. He initiated a 180-degree turn but inadvertently entered clouds. The pilot became spatially disoriented and the airplane began descending with the airspeed increasing beyond Vne. The aileron system then failed and 2 of the 6 flying wires for the left wing also failed. The flight descended below the base of the clouds about 1,300 feet above ground level and the pilot made a forced landing into a field. After touchdown in a rough field the airplane cartwheeled and came to rest upright. The pilot did not obtain a weather briefing before takeoff, and the airplane was not equipped with instruments for controlling the airplane without reference to terrain.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions in an airplane not equipped with appropriate instrumentation which led to the pilot's inability to maintain control and spatial disorientation. In addition, during an attemped recovery from the loss of control, the airplane exceeded Vne which resulted in failure of the aileron flight control system and flying wires. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the pilot to obtain a preflight weather briefing and the unsuitable terrain encountered during the forced landing.

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