On September 7, 1997, about 1500 eastern daylight time, a Diamond Aircraft Industries DA 20-A1, N560SS, registered to MDFC Equipment Leasing Corp., crashed during approach to land at Concord Regional Airport, Concord, North Carolina, while on a Title 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft received substantial damage and the student-rated pilot received minor injuries. The flight originated from Concord, North Carolina, the same day about 1455.

The student pilot stated that he had the canopy open as he taxied to the runway for takeoff. Before takeoff he pulled the canopy down but forgot to latch it. After takeoff he entered the traffic pattern to return for landing. While on final approach to land, the canopy opened abruptly and remained on the aircraft in the opened position. He applied full engine power and retracted the wing flaps as the aircraft settled into trees. The aircraft entered the trees in a near wings level attitude, rotated to the left, and went inverted coming to rest approximately 25 degrees nose down.

The aircraft operator reported that when he arrived on scene the aircraft's electrical power was still on. The canopy open warning light was illuminated. Examination of the canopy latches showed they were unlocked. The latches had no damage or evidence of malfunction. The latches operated normally after the accident.

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