NTSB Identification: WPR10CA037
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 23, 2009 in Edwards, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/19/2010
Aircraft: SOCATA TB200, registration: N3052N
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.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that shortly after departure, with the airplane about 30 to 40 feet above ground level (agl), the left door opened. The gull-wing type door prohibited the pilot from being able to reach its latch without him unfastening his seatbelt. Given the airplane was only about 3,000 feet down the 8,000-foot-long runway, the pilot opted to abort the takeoff by retarding the throttle to the idle position. The sun was reflecting off the windscreen hindering the pilot's vision and he could not ascertain the airplane's height above the runway surface. The airplane landed hard, incurring structural damage to the airframe. The pilot stated that accident could have been prevented if there was more emphasis in "door operation" when performing a check in a different make and model airplane. The pilot further added that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe or engine.

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

The pilot's improper flare resulting in a hard landing. Contributing to the accident was the sunglare.

Full narrative available

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