NTSB Identification: ERA10CA465
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 04, 2010 in Jackson, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/13/2011
Aircraft: STEARMAN E75, registration: N1370V
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.

According to the pilot, after takeoff, at an altitude of 100 feet above the ground, the engine’s right side cowling door became unsecured. He stated that the door was banging in the air flapping onto the top of the cowling. As the pilot began to maneuver toward the airport to land, the cowling started to move to the closed position, and the pilot attempted to further close the door with rudder input. The pilot stated that he was fixated on keeping the cowling closed and inadvertently let the airspeed slow to the point that the airplane started to descend rapidly. The pilot applied full power to recover, but did not have enough altitude to regain flying speed. The airplane impacted trees, resulting in substantial damage to the upper and lower wings. The pilot stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the airplane. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the cowling camlocks and found them to be in good condition.

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

The pilot's diverted attention toward an unsecured engine cowl door after takeoff which resulted in his failure to maintain airspeed and altitude. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate preflight inspection of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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