DEN07LA040
DEN07LA040

On October 9, 2006, at 1930 central daylight time, a Beech A-36, N1801V, was substantially damaged while in cruise flight near Great Bend, Kansas (GBD). Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal cross-country flight was operating on an Instrument Flight Rules flight plan from Scott City, Kansas, to Hays, Kansas, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot, the sole person on board the airplane, was not injured. The flight originated at 1845.

The Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZKC ARTCC) reported that at 1921, the pilot stated he was in instrument conditions, had become disoriented, advised that he was having a lot of trouble, and "needed to control the aircraft." The pilot then requested "vector/navigational assistance." The controller decided to treat the airplane as an emergency and gave him vectors to GBD where visual weather conditions prevailed. At 2004, the pilot was cleared for a visual approach at GBD and was instructed to switch to the airport's Unicom frequency. The airplane landed without further incident.

The pilot stated he was level in cruise flight at 7,000 feet. He said that approximately 30 miles from his destination, he entered the localizer frequency into his GPS (global positioning system). "The airplane entered an unusual attitude. When [aircraft] control [was] regained, [the] HSI (horizon situation indicator) [was] inaccurate. [I] navigated to GBD with ATC assistance."

On December 22, 2006, the pilot informed the Federal Aviation Administration, Flight Standards District Office, Wichita, Kansas, that his airplane had sustained substantial damage during the recovery maneuver. An examination of the airplane showed wrinkling in the upper and lower wing skins at the wing roots and upward bending of the wing spars of both wings. Additionally, there were buckles in the fuselage skin at the wing roots. Further examination showed skin wrinkles in the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. Flight control continuity was confirmed. An examination of the airplane's systems did not reveal any anomalies.

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