NTSB Identification: MIA93LA128.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 50711.
Accident occurred Saturday, May 22, 1993 in LAKELAND, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/1993
Aircraft: JOHN SHUFFLEBARGER ZENAIR ZODIAK, registration: N693JS
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.

THE PILOT STATED THAT WHILE AT 150 FEET ON SHORT FINAL APPROACH THE CANOPY CAME OPEN ON THE LEFT SIDE AND OPENED TO THE RIGHT. THE CANOPY THEN SEPARATED. THE AIRSPEED INADVERTENTLY GOT LOW AND THE AIRCRAFT DESCENDED. THE AIRCRAFT THEN TOUCHED DOWN HARD AT A POINT 1000 FEET SHORT OF THE RUNWAY. THE MANUFACTURER OF THE AIRCRAFT KIT STATED HE HAD FLOWN THE AIRCRAFT ON THE PREVIOUS FLIGHT AND HAD NO PROBLEMS WITH THE CANOPY. HE STATED THE CANOPY DESIGN HAS HAD NO PREVIOUS PROBLEMS OR CASES OF IT COMING OPEN IN FLIGHT. HE STATED THE PILOT MUST NOT HAVE HAD THE CANOPY FULLY LOCKED FOR THE FLIGHT.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND TO MAINTAIN AIRSPEED AFTER SEPARATION OF THE CANOPY, RESULTING IN THE AIRCRAFT ENTERING A STALL/MUSH CONDITION AND DESCENDING UNCONTROLLED TO THE GROUND. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND TO FULLY LOCK THE CANOPY BEFORE FLIGHT.

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