NTSB Identification: ATL89FA173.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39674.
Accident occurred Friday, June 30, 1989 in PINEY FLATS, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/15/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 210H, registration: N5939F
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE ACFT WAS ON A VFR X-COUNTRY FLT AT NGT, WHEN AN IN-FLT BREAK-UP OCCURRED. SUBSEQUENTLY, WRECKAGE WAS SCATTERED OVER ABOUT A 1.4 MI AREA. THERE WAS EVIDENCE THE LEFT WING FAILED IN POSITIVE OVERLOAD APRX 3' OUTBOARD OF THE WING ROOT. THE CABIN DOOR & TAIL SURFACES ALSO SEPD. ALL FRACTURES EXHIBITED EVIDENCE OF OVERLAOD. NO EVIDENCE OF ANY PRE-EXISTING DEFECT WAS FND. THE NON-INST RATED PLT WAS NOT IN CONTACT WITH ANY ATC FACILITY DURING THE FLT. RADAR DATA SHOWED THE ACFT MADE SVRL ALT EXCURSIONS DURING ABOUT A 30 MIN PERIOD BEFORE THE ACDNT. JUST BEFORE DISAPPEARING FM RADAR, THE FLT TRACK DEVIATED TO THE LEFT. THE ACDNT OCCURRED ON A DARK NGT AT ABT 2147 EDT; THOUGH HIS LAST REST PERIOD WAS NOT VERIFIED, THE PLT ROUTINELY SLEPT FM 2100 TO 0400. ABT 5 MI SW AT THE TRI-CITY RGNL ARPT, THE 2152 WX WAS IN PART: 5000 FT SCT, 8500' BKN, 30,000' OVC, VIS 7 MI, WND FM 130 DEG AT 7 KTS. ELEV OF THE WX STATION WAS 1519'. THE ACFT WAS AT 8700' MSL WHEN RADAR CTC WAS LOST.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT AFTER BECOMING SPATIALLY DISORIENTED, AND HIS EXCEEDING THE DESIGN STRESS LIMITS OF THE AIRCRAFT WHILE ATTEMPTING TO RECOVER FROM AN UNCONTROLLED DESCENT. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: DARKNESS, CLOUD CONDITION, PILOT FATIGUE, AND THE PILOT'S LACK OF INSTRUMENT EXPERIENCE. .

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