NTSB Identification: LAX01LA117.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 14, 2001 in Anza, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/17/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-160, registration: N333PE
Injuries: 1 Minor.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The cabin door opened in cruise flight and the private pilot subsequently lost control of the twin-engine airplane. The airplane entered a descending right turn, and when ground impact was imminent, the pilot shut down the engines and feathered the propellers. The airplane then impacted the ground in a field. According to FAA inspectors, the door would not lock due to improperly installed upholstery. The pilot/owner reported he did not get a certificated mechanic to inspect and sign off on the upholstery modification.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane following the opening of the cockpit/cabin door. The door came open because of improperly installed upholstery, which resulted in the inability to lock the door. Full narrative available
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