NTSB Identification: CEN10LA041
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 07, 2009 in Bonham, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2011
Aircraft: WICKS AIR CENTER LLC HORNET, registration: N651WA
Injuries: 2 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 non-instrument rated pilot departed the airport and was observed flying less than 100 feet above ground level. The airplane then made a left turn back toward the airport and continued into fog or a low cloud layer. It subsequently spiraled nose-down into the ground and there was an immediate postimpact fire followed by an explosion. A postaccident examination revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The weather in the area at the time of the accident was reported by witnesses as low clouds and poor visibility in fog. Federal Aviation Administration guidance indicates that spatial disorientation can occur when there is no natural horizon or surface reference, such as a night flight in sparsely populated areas similar to that of the accident area and conditions. Based on the wreckage and the visual reference conditions present at the time of the accident it is likely that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation.

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

The pilot's loss of control shortly after takeoff due to spatial disorientation in fog and/or low-level clouds.

Full narrative available

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