NTSB Identification: DEN08LA139
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 11, 2008 in Muskogee, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2009
Aircraft: Dickey RV-6A, registration: N22163
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The instrument-rated pilot was flying under visual flight rules on a cross-country flight and encountered instrument meteorological conditions. A review of the pilot's logbook showed that he had not flown in actual instrument conditions for over five years. The pilot last logged simulated instrument time during his flight review in February, 2007, and prior to then had not logged simulated instrument time since September, 2004. According to the pilot's wife, she thought that the airplane was equipped for instrument flight, but this could not be verified. Radar data showed the airplane changing altitude and making large heading changes during the last ten minutes of flight. The last four radar returns showed the airplane descending in a right turn from 8,500 feet msl to zero altitude in 23 seconds. Witnesses heard the airplane engine running and saw the airplane exit the clouds in a steep nose-down attitude and impact the terrain. Examination of the airplane disclosed no preimpact anomalies. The airplane's turning ground track and the challenging visibility conditions were conducive to the onset of pilot spatial disorientation. The airplane's rapid, near-vertical descent is consistent with the pilot's loss of control of the airplane because of spatial disorientation.

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

The pilot's improper decision to continue flight under visual flight rules into an area of reduced visibility weather conditions, which resulted in the pilot's spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of aircraft control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of recent experience flying in instrument conditions.

Full narrative available

Index for Aug2008 | Index of months