NTSB Identification: ERA12CA341
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 17, 2012 in Shirley, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 was practicing takeoffs and landings. He reported that he opened the canopy to vent the cockpit before takeoff; however, he was unsure if he verified that it was latched and locked. The pilot completed one takeoff and landing, and, on the next takeoff, the canopy lifted off of the frame during the initial climb. The pilot unsuccessfully attempted to close the canopy and continued the climb but was unsure if the airplane would maintain clearance from trees located beyond the departure end of the runway. He banked the airplane to avoid striking trees and the airplane entered a stall. The pilot pitched the airplane down and was able to recover it from the stall; however, the airplane impacted the ground resulting in substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. A postaccident examination of the airplane and canopy revealed that there were no preaccident malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control after the cockpit canopy opened during the takeoff climb. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to securely lock the canopy before takeoff.

Full narrative available

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