NTSB Identification: CEN10FA520
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 07, 2010 in Mountain Home, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/15/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA T210, registration: N2081U
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 airplane was in cruise flight at 6,700 feet mean sea level when the air traffic controller advised the pilot that a large area of heavy to extreme rain showers was ahead along his flight path for the next 180 miles. The pilot did not change course, and, about 6 minutes later, he requested a descent in order to remain operating under visual flight rules. About 4 minutes later, the controller lost radar contact with the airplane and tried to contact the pilot. There was no response. Witnesses on the ground reported that the airplane’s engine could be heard “revving up and down,” but the airplane could not be seen because of an overcast layer of clouds. Moments later the airplane appeared from the clouds and was observed descending in a nose down spiral. The witnesses added that, before the airplane descended out of sight, one of the wings “appeared to fold.” Postaccident examination indicated that the airplane experienced a positive overload failure of the left wing during the descent and subsequently broke apart. The examination revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions, anomalies, or failures before the wing separation that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

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

The pilot’s decision to continue flight into a known area of heavy rain and his subsequent failure to maintain aircraft control.

Full narrative available

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