NTSB Identification: FTW03FA057.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 04, 2002 in Harrison, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 210L, registration: N210CT
Injuries: 1 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 single-engine airplane was destroyed following an in-flight breakup during initial climb after takeoff into instrument meteorological conditions. A civil flight following employee observed the airplane depart the airport to the north and a few minutes later the airplane was observed making a right turn back toward the airport. The instrument-rated commercial pilot had 3,456 hours of total flight time, with 1,700 hours in the accident aircraft model. The pilot was very familiar with the route of flight, as this was his daily scheduled flight. The weather at the time of departure was reported as winds from 350 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 2.5 statute miles in light snow and mist, few clouds at 800 feet, broken ceiling at 1,800 feet, and overcast skies at 2,700 feet. There was no convective system reported within 200-mile radius of the airport. The VOR servicing the airport was out of service at the time of the accident; however, the pilot was aware and had received a clearance direct to his destination airport. The airplane was properly equipped for flight into known icing conditions. Additionally, the airplane was equipped with a backup vacuum system as well as a standby alternator system. Witnesses reported that the engine "sounded great" until the pitch of the engine appeared to overspeed followed by two "long scraping sounds." The airplane wreckage came to rest 2.5 miles northeast of the departure airport. The wreckage was found fragmented along the ground for approximately 2,534 feet on a northerly heading. The wing flaps were found in the up position and the landing gear was found in the retracted position. The sequence of the in-flight failure could not be determined. The fractures on both wings exhibited overload signatures. The attitude indicator and directional gyro were examined. Both gyros showed indication of rotation at the time of the impact. All separations of the airframe and flight control system appeared characteristic of overload.

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 and the exceedance of the manufactured limits, which resulted in an in flight break-up. Contributing factors were the dark night conditions and the clouds.

Full narrative available

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