NTSB Identification: LAX05LA266.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 11, 2005 in Redding, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Agusta SPA SF 260D, registration: N402FD
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 airplane's canopy separated from the cockpit during the landing descent, and substantially damaged the empennage. The pilot indicated that he had not experienced any malfunction with the canopy's operation when he initiated the flight, and that the latch was in the closed position when the separation occurred. A subsequent search for the separated canopy was unsuccessful. An examination of the airplane revealed that the leading edge of the left horizontal stabilizer was crushed inward over approximately a 1-foot-long span. Also, the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer was similarly crushed in an aft direction. This was the first flight following the company's removal and reinstallation of a serviceable canopy. The company mechanics suggested that they may not have verified that the canopy's locking pins were positively engaged in the support lugs on the airframe during reinstallation of the canopy.

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

the company maintenance personnel's failure to follow a prescribed canopy installation procedures.

Full narrative available

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