NTSB Identification: SEA01LA058.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 04, 2001 in Bozeman, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2001
Aircraft: Avia Stroitel AC-5m, registration: N1635M
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Prior to takeoff in a powered glider, the pilot opened and closed the canopy a number of times in order to communicate with members of his ground crew. When he was given clearance for departure, he closed the canopy one last time, but inadvertently did not get the latching mechanism fully engaged. After liftoff, as the aircraft climbed to about 30 feet above the runway, the canopy unexpectedly swung open. The pilot's attention was then momentarily diverted to the open canopy, and when he looked back toward the front of the aircraft, it was just about to impact the surface of the runway in a nose-down attitude. It was later determined that he had not reviewed his checklist just prior to departure to ensure that he had accomplished all critical items.

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

the pilot's improper remedial action upon experiencing the unexpected opening of the aircraft's canopy during the initial part of the takeoff climb. Factors include his attention being diverted to the open canopy, his failure to use a checklist to ensure he did not miss any critical pre-takeoff actions, his failure to lock the canopy, and the unintentional opening of the canopy after liftoff.

Full narrative available

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