NTSB Identification: LAX96LA159.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 07, 1996 in CHINO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/20/1996
Aircraft: Gage VARI-EZE, registration: N88VE
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 pilot was conducting a sales demonstration flight for the airplane's owner. Before departing on the accident flight, the pilot performed two high speed taxi operations and one takeoff and landing. When departing on the accident flight, the pilot twice aborted the takeoff due to a canopy unlatched warning light indication. After correcting the problem, with the airplane still on the runway, the pilot took off and climbed sharply. Ground witnesses said the airplane stalled about 100 feet agl. The left wing and nose dropped and the pilot was unable to regain a positive flight attitude. The airplane crashed in a left wing and nose down attitude. The wreckage examination established continuity of the flight control system. The pilot had 1 hour of flight time in this type aircraft.

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

the pilot's excessive initial climb attitude and his failure to maintain adequate airspeed. The pilot's diverted attention to the unlatched canopy warning light, and his lack of familiarity with the aircraft were factors.

Full narrative available

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