NTSB Identification: CEN11FA300
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 21, 2011 in Elk City, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/23/2012
Aircraft: Dahlman-Dower Tailwind W-8, registration: N7804C
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 pilot’s in-flight weather briefing indicated that instrument meteorological conditions, including low ceilings, were forecast for the area. He then contacted the nearest Air Route Traffic Control Center and requested an instrument clearance to a nearby airport. The controller offered to vector the pilot for an instrument landing system, very-high frequency omnidirectional radio range, or area navigation/global positioning system approach to that airport, but the pilot said he was having gyro problems. The pilot said he would divert to a visual flight rules (VFR) airport. Radio and radar contacts were then lost. A postaccident examination of the wreckage at the scene indicated that the airplane struck the shoulder of a road in an inverted, nose-down attitude. The only navigational charts found at the accident scene were a bound VFR chart atlas. No instrument flight rules charts were found. A further examination of the airplane showed that the airplane was equipped with basic VFR instrumentation only. Analysis of radar data revealed that the airplane made three turns: two tight left turns followed by a wide right turn. These turns took place in the last few minutes of flight and were consistent with a spiraling descent.

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

The pilot's decision to attempt flight into instrument meteorological conditions in an airplane that was equipped for flight in visual meteorological conditions only, which resulted in the pilot’s spatial disoriented and loss of control of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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