Hard landing Accident Van's RV-12 N666BE,
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This record has been locked for editing.

Date:Tuesday 11 June 2013
Type:Silhouette image of generic RV12 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Van's RV-12
Registration: N666BE
MSN: 120226
Total airframe hrs:54 hours
Engine model:Viking 11D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Chadron Municipal Airport - KCDR, Chadron, NE -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Chadron, NE (CDR)
Destination airport:Chadron, NE (CDR)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot stated that, just as the airplane became airborne after takeoff, the tip-up canopy popped open about 3 inches. The pilot grabbed the canopy with his hand and simultaneously lowered the airplane’s nose and partially reduced power in an attempt to land on the remaining runway. The airplane nosed over, and the pilot lost grip of the canopy when it “opened to the full vertical position,” which caused the airplane’s nose to further pitch over. He applied back pressure on the control stick; however, the elevator and rudder did not respond. He was able to level the wings before the airplane landed hard on all three landing gear.
A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the canopy latch operated normally except for some slight resistance when locking the latch into the detent position. The pilot stated that the canopy latch was hard to latch and that he most likely did not secure it properly. The airplane’s kit manufacturer reported that it had not conducted any testing on the aerodynamic effects of the airplane’s canopy opening in flight; therefore, it could not contest the pilot’s claims that the canopy opened to the fully open/vertical position. However, the kit manufacturer did report that it has had a “reasonable amount” of field experience with tip-up canopies opening in flight on similar model airplanes in which no loss of control was reported and that, “While the extent that a canopy tends to open will vary with airspeed, it is our experience that a tip-up canopy will open to a point where the aerodynamic equilibrium is reached...at which point the canopy’s position will stabilize.” However, because the airplane was in the process of landing, it is likely that the canopy position did not have a chance to stabilize before touchdown. This accident was the first reported instance where pitch authority was affected from a canopy opening in flight on any model equipped with a tip-up canopy, and a lack of flight test data precluded a determination of the aerodynamic effects on the airplane’s elevator and rudder if the canopy fully opens during landing.

Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to properly secure the latch to the tip-up canopy before flight, which resulted in the canopy opening on takeoff and a subsequent loss of airplane control while attempting to land the airplane.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CEN13LA340
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


FAA register: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=666BE


Revision history:

13-Jun-2013 16:13 Geno Added
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
29-Nov-2017 08:45 ASN Update Bot Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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