NTSB Identification: CHI08LA272
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 03, 2008 in Cassville, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/29/2009
Aircraft: SOCATA TB-20 Trinidad, registration: N597TB
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.

Two pilots, who were enrolled in an aviation training program, preflighted the airplane for a flight that was to pick up a friend at the destination airport. After departure, the right cabin door opened for reportedly unknown reasons, and was then held closed by the right seat pilot. The left seat pilot diverted to a nearby airport. During the approach the left seat pilot elected to perform a go-around because the approach "didn't look good." During the go-around, the door reopened, and the airplane rolled to the right and impacted the ground. The right seat pilot was fatally injuried. The airplane was equipped with gull wing type doors, which do not open against the direction of the relative airflow. The in-flight opening of a cabin door is not listed as an emergency in the Pilot's Information Manual and flight with a door open was not tested by the airplane manufacturer. Furthermore, flight is prohibited with a door being open or ajar. The airplane was consumed by fire and only portions of the door assemblies were recovered.

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

The left seat pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during a go-around and the inadvertent in-flight opening of the cabin door for undetermined reasons. Contributing to the accident was the distraction of the door opening.

Full narrative available

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