NTSB Identification: LAX96LA261.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 30, 1996 in SANTA ROSA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/03/1997
Aircraft: Rominger EYAS, registration: N8012U
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
During takeoff, the airplane's canopy came open about 20 feet above the ground and separated. The pilot's vision was impaired by air blasting in his face. He then 'closed' the throttle, and the airplane descended to a hard landing on the runway and was damaged. Investigation revealed that FAA personnel inspected the airplane before the accident in conjunction with an application for an experimental airworthiness certificate; the pilot/builder was denied an airworthiness certificate. After addressing some of the discrepancies and making some changes, the pilot/builder submitted an application for an experimental airworthiness certificate to an FAA designated airworthiness representative (DAR). The FAA DAR issued the certificate. After the accident, FAA airworthiness inspectors, who were familiar with the airplane, examined it. They noted the airplane had been modified in a manner defined as major changes in design. One of the modifications concerned the airplane's canopy. After the postaccident examination, the FAA determined 'the aircraft was not in a safe condition for operation at the time of the accident.'
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: an inadequate design change by the pilot/builder of the airplane's canopy; a malfunction of the canopy, which resulted in its separation; and failure of the pilot to flare the airplane during an emergency landing after takeoff, due to the wind blast that impaired his vision. Full narrative available
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