NTSB Identification: LAX89DUG03.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41838.
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 21, 1989 in HESPERIA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1992
Aircraft: VAN'S/FISH RV-4, registration: N239X
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

WITNESSES REPORTED OBSERVING THE PILOT TAXI TO THE RUNWAY WITH THE CANOPY CRACKED OPEN APPROXIMATELY TWO INCHES. THE PILOT ENTERED THE RUNWAY AND DEPARTED WITHOUT PRE-TAKEOFF OR COCKPIT CHECK. SOON AFTER TAKEOFF THE CANOPY DEPARTED THE AIRCRAFT ALONG WITH THE PILOT'S GLASSES WHICH WERE BOTH FOUND ON THE RUNWAY. THE PILOT RETURNED TO LAND AND THE AIRCRAFT ENTERED INTO A STALL AND SPUN INTO THE GROUND FROM AN ATTITUDE OF 100 FEET ABOUT 1/4 MILE FROM THE RUNWAY.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO PROPERLY LATCH THE CANOPY PRIOR TO TAKEOFF AND BY ALLOWING THE AIRCRAFT TO ENTER INTO A STALL DURING A CRITICAL PHASE OF FLIGHT AT AN ATTITUDE INSUFFICIENT TO RECOVER SAFELY. A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT WAS THE LOSS OF HIS EYEGLASSES WHEN THE CANOPY DEPARTED THE AIRCRAFT.

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