NTSB Identification: BFO92LA115.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46970.
Accident occurred Friday, July 24, 1992 in SHELBURNE, VT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1993
Aircraft: GEORGE A CHAFFEE KITFOX II, registration: N376GC
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THIS WAS THE PILOT'S FIRST FLIGHT SINCE HE BUILT THE AIRPLANE. ACCORDING TO THE PILOT, HE WAS GOING TO STAY IN THE TRAFFIC PATTERN TO PRACTICE TOUCH AND GO LANDINGS; HOWEVER, DURING THE INITIAL CLIMB THE LEFT DOOR ' POPPED OPEN,' AND THE PILOT BECAME DISTRACTED MOMENTARILY. HE STATED THAT THE FLIGHT HAD CLIMBED TO ABOUT 75 TO 100 FEET, AND HE REDUCED THE POWER TO TRY TO LAND ON THE REMAINING RUNWAY, BUT THE AIRPLANE VEERED TO THE LEFT OF THE RUNWAY IN THE PATH OF TREES. HE STATED THAT HE TRIED TO AVOID THE TREE TOPS BY PULLING BACK ON THE YOKE, BUT THE AIRPLANE STALLED AND CAME TO REST BETWEEN TWO TREES. THE PILOT STATED THAT THERE WAS NO MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION, AND THE ACCIDENT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED IF HE HAD INSTALLED A POSITIVE LATCHING MECHANISM ON THE DOOR.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED WHICH RESULTED IN A STALL. CONTRIBUTING WAS THE PILOT'S DIVERTED ATTENTION TO AN OPEN DOOR, AND AN INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT INSPECTION.

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