Loss of control Accident CZAW SportCruiser N417VR, Sunday 11 April 2010
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Date:Sunday 11 April 2010
Type:Silhouette image of generic CRUZ model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
CZAW SportCruiser
Owner/operator:Lsa Llc
Registration: N417VR
MSN: 08SC232
Engine model:Rotax 912ULS
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Oswego Road, Union Vale, New York State -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Millbrook, NJ (44N)
Destination airport:Millbrook, NJ (44N)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
According to several witnesses, the airplane's engine sounded good during the takeoff roll, but at liftoff the wings were rocking and the airplane was not gaining altitude. They said that almost immediately, the airplane banked hard left back toward the airport, and disappeared from view. The sounds of impact were heard, and a fire ensued at ground contact that completely consumed the airplane. Some of the witnesses stated that they saw something fall off of or from the airplane during the turn. A firefighter who responded immediately to the scene said the pilot told him that he tried to hold the canopy shut and fly the airplane at the same time and did not lock the canopy.

Postaccident flight testing and information gathered from previous investigations (WPR09LA075 and WPR10LA276) revealed that an unlocked canopy remained slightly ajar in flight. Without being latched, the hinged canopy would rest in the fully closed position. After takeoff, the unlatched canopy lifted from the frame rail. Flight testing revealed that the relative airflow held the canopy in a lowered, slightly-open position, and that the airplane remained fully controllable. Following these three investigations, the manufacturer added a pre-takeoff canopy closed-and-locked check to the checklist, and a canopy unlocked in-flight procedure to the Pilot Operating Handbook.
Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control after takeoff while he was distracted by trying to hold shut the unlocked cockpit canopy. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to lock the canopy prior to takeoff, and the inadequate guidance in the Pilot Operating Handbook regarding canopy locking procedures.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA10LA221
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

11-Apr-2010 21:15 slowkid Added
12-Apr-2010 12:05 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
12-Apr-2010 14:31 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
12-Apr-2010 20:58 Digitalis Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Phase, Departure airport, Source]
13-Apr-2010 05:21 RobertMB Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
13-Apr-2010 06:10 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
26-Nov-2017 16:36 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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