NTSB Identification: FTW01FA095.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 07, 2001 in Lurton, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 190, registration: N1055D
Injuries: 2 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 non-instrument rated private pilot was flying at 7,500 feet on a cross-country flight when he reported to air traffic control (ATC) that he wanted to descend due to "haze." The flight descended to 5,200 feet and the pilot requested another descent; however, ATC informed the pilot that they would not have radar contact with the airplane below 5,500 feet. The pilot elected to stay at 5,500 feet and repeated that it was hazy. The final radar data depicted the airplane descending and making a right corkscrew ground track. A witness, who was located in the vicinity of the accident site, heard the sound of a "motor speed up," and heard an aircraft clear a ridge and impact the ground. After the impact, he saw the "flash of a fire ball." The witness added that it was "too foggy" to see the airplane. According to local residents, the weather was foggy and misty at the time of the accident. The airplane's outboard wing sections separated in overload and came to rest in trees on the north side of a ridge. The fuselage impacted trees and terrain on the south side of the ridge approximately 0.2 miles from the outboard wing sections. Its measured descent angle was 50 degrees. All of the control cable and structural separations were consistent with an overload failure. It is unknown how much, if any, instrument or simulated instrument flight time the pilot had accumulated. Metabolites of cocaine were found in the pilot's muscle tissue; however, it could not be determined when the pilot may have used cocaine.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's continued VFR flight into IMC, which resulted in spatial disorientation and the ensuing loss of aircraft control while in cruise flight. Contributory factors were the haze and fog weather conditions. Full narrative available
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