NTSB Identification: CEN09CA258
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 20, 2009 in Santa Teresa, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/28/2009
Aircraft: Marlin Varieze, registration: N77JM
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot said he became distracted while talking to another airplane on the radio. He didn't complete the takeoff checklist and forgot to latch the canopy prior to takeoff. The pilot took off and after climbing about 10 to 30 feet, the canopy popped open. The safety catch stopped the canopy from opening completely. With his left hand, the pilot attempted to close and lock the canopy. Being unsuccessful, he removed his right hand from control stick and grabbed the canopy latch. Control was lost and the airplane impacted the runway, struck a landing light, and skidded off the runway. The landing gear was sheared off, and a canard and a wing were crushed.

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, his failure to latch the canopy prior to takeoff, and his failure to complete the pretakeoff checklist due to his diverted attention.

Full narrative available

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