NTSB Identification: DFW05LA043.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 17, 2004 in Slaton, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Akers Douglas RA40 Defiant, registration: N765MM
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 one-piece canopy opened to a near-vertical position during the initial takeoff climb. The 2,300-hour pilot reduced engine power and the airplane descended back towards the runway. Seconds later engine power was restored and the airplane was observed climbing. As the airplane was climbing, the canopy was observed "bobbing" up and down. The pilot then initiated an approximate 315-degree descending left turn. After rolling out, the airplane started banking back and forth and pitching up and down rapidly before settling in a nose down attitude. Subsequently, the airplane impacted the ground.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control. Contributing factors were the opening of the canopy in-flight and the pilot's diverted attention.

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