NTSB Identification: CEN10LA245
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 09, 2010 in Pine Bluff, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/28/2012
Aircraft: GROSS COZY, registration: N144TJ
Injuries: 6 Minor.

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 was in cruise flight when the right-side hinged cockpit canopy suddenly opened to about a 90-degree up position. The pilot’s headset and several other loose items in the cockpit exited the airplane. The pilot subsequently experienced a “large vibration” in the engine. With the engine producing partial power, the pilot elected to perform an emergency descent. About 4 miles from the airport, the engine experienced a total loss of power, and the pilot executed a forced landing on a busy five-lane road. After missing several vehicles, the airplane struck and damaged the rear of a car and came to rest in a ditch on the side of the road. A postaccident examination of the canopy’s primary and secondary latch system revealed that the secondary latch system exhibited an overstress fracture of the spring steel hook and had separated. The overstress fracture likely occurred during due to the canopy opening; the reason for the inadvertent opening of the canopy could not be determined. The damage to the rear mounted pusher propeller was consistent with debris from the cabin striking the propeller when the canopy opened in flight.

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

The inadvertent opening of the cockpit canopy during cruise flight for undetermined reasons, which allowed debris to impact and damage the pusher propeller with a resulting total loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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