NTSB Identification: CEN13LA340
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in Chadron, NE
Aircraft: VANS RV12, registration: N666BE
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 11, 2013, at 0640 central daylight time, N666BE, an experimental-homebuilt Vans RV-12 airplane, sustained substantial damage during a hard landing at the Chadron Municipal Airport (CDR), Chadron, Nebraska. The certified airline transport pilot/owner/builder was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot said the takeoff roll was normal and he rotated at 70 miles per hour (mph). Just as the airplane accelerated to 80 mph, an approximately 50 feet above the runway, the tip-up canopy popped open about 3-inches. The pilot grabbed the canopy with his hand and simultaneously lowered the nose and partially reduced power in an attempt to land on the remaining runway. As he nosed over, he lost grip of the canopy when it "opened to the full vertical position." The pilot said this caused the nose of the airplane to pitch over further and when he applied back pressure on the control stick, there was no response from the elevator. There was also no response from the rudder when he applied pressure to the rudder pedals.

The airplane landed hard on all three landing gear, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. Examination of the airplane revealed no mechanical deficiencies with the canopy latch.

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