NTSB Identification: CHI06LA190.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 15, 2006 in South Haven, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/30/2007
Aircraft: Armpriest Breezy, registration: N316DA
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 experimental amateur-built airplane impacted terrain following takeoff. The pilot stated that following the takeoff, there was a pronounced vibration from the engine and he attempted to return to the airport. A witness reported that a compartment cover separated from the airplane during the initial climb from takeoff. Another witness reported seeing a 2 foot square object fall from the airplane after which the airplane appeared to be moving slowly and stalling. The cover was mounted on the airplane between the aft passenger seat and the propeller. Inspection of the accident site revealed that the cover and propeller were both damaged with the cover resting along the flight path and separate from the main wreckage. The cover was attached with two latches and J- hook mechanisms. There was a latch mechanism on the left side and another on the right side of the baggage compartment. The latch assembly could be locked into place using a small pad lock. Both latches were found in the locked position. One J-hook was found intact and the other hook was missing. The airplane had not received a current conditional inspection.

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

The inadvertent stall by pilot during climb following propeller blade damage from the compartment door separation after takeoff. The low altitude and airspeed not maintained by the pilot were additional causes. Contributing factors were the compartment door separation and the propeller foreign object damage.

Full narrative available

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