On March 21, 1997, about 1330 eastern standard time, a Socata TB-21C, N55510, registered to a private individual, was substantially damaged during cruise flight while in contact with Miami Approach Control, near Hollywood, Florida. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area at the time of the accident and an IFR flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. The private-rated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight originated from the North Perry Airport, Hollywood, Florida, about 1328.

After takeoff while being vectored by a controller the actual heading flown was 180 degrees off the vectored heading. The flight continued and according to the controller, he depicted weather on the radar scope but after obtaining a Pilot Report (PIREP) and no report of adverse weather, he vectored the flight in that same area. The pilot stated that after takeoff while being vectored he observed adverse weather ahead and advised the controller of this, who told him that only light precipitation was ahead. The flight continued on the vectored heading, encountered IMC conditions at 1,500 feet, and the pilot reported that he experienced an in-flight loss of control. While descending vertically, he obtained visual reference with the ground and regained control of the airplane. The flight continued and he was advised to contact the approach control area supervisor upon landing. The pilot complied and told the supervisor the flight conditions encountered and the supervisor advised the pilot that "...he would take care of that, and I would have nothing to worry about."

During routine surveillance at the airport on April 9, 1997, 19 days after the accident, an FAA airworthiness inspector observed the airplane with damaged wing spars and vertical stabilizer and reported this to the NTSB. The voice and radar tapes from the Miami Approach control and the voice tape from the Miami Automated International Flight Service Station for the weather briefing for the day of the occurrence, were put back in service 15 days after the day of the accident and were not available for review. The pilot failed to timely report the accident.

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