NTSB Identification: DFW08FA056
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 16, 2008 in Tulsa, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/2009
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER 500B, registration: N712AT
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 commercial pilot departed on a night instrument flight rules flight in actual instrument meteorological in-flight conditions. Less than 2 minutes after the airplane departed the airport, the controller observed the airplane in a right turn and instructed the pilot to report his altitude. The pilot responded he thought he was at 3,500 feet and he thought he had lost the gyros. The pilot said he was trying to level out, and when the controller informed the pilot he observed the airplane on radar making a 360-degree right turn , the pilot said "roger." Three minutes and 23 seconds after departure the pilot said "yeah, I'm having some trouble right now" and there were no further radio communications from the flight. The on scene investigation disclosed that both wings and the tail section had separated from the airframe. All fractures of the wing and wing skin were typical of ductile overload with no evidence of preexisting failures such as fatigue or stress-corrosion. The deformation of the wings indicated an upward failure due to positive loading. No anomalies were noted with the gyro instruments, engine assembly or accessories

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

The pilot's loss of control due to spatial disorientation and the pilot exceeding the design/stress limits of the aircraft. Factors contributing to the accident were the pilot's reported gyro problem, the dark night conditions , and prevailing instrument meteorological conditions.

Full narrative available

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