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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 14565
Last updated: 30 March 2020
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Date:07-MAR-1979
Time:15:42
Type:Silhouette image of generic VEZE model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Rutan VariEze 1
Owner/operator:
Registration: N95DB
C/n / msn: 1003
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Tims Airpark, near Austin, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Tims Airpark
Destination airport:Local
Narrative:
The canopy opened in-flight & this canopy design & implementation lacked adequate provisions for closing the canopy in-flight when subjected to aerodynamic pressures. The canopy locks showed "No evidence of overload on canopy locks.", which suggests the canopy latch may not have been properly engaged or was inadvertently disengaged in-flight. With the canopy open in-flight and no suitable way to close it in-flight, the aircraft experienced an uncontrolled descent into the ground where both occupants were fatally injured. The aircraft was written off and the aircraft registration was re-assigned to a Beech Bonanza built in 1979.

Estimates of the loading suggested that the CG was possibly 0.21" aft of the rear CG limit, but there was no evidence of overloading. CG location was probably not a significant factor in this accident, which was primarily a result of the canopy opening in-flight. Recommended designs include a side-opening canopy with positive latching and locking mechanisms, plus the addition of a handle sufficient to attempt closing the canopy in-flight to prevent loss of control.

The pilot had 10 hours in-type and 3,450 hours total time. Commercial pilot license with instrument rating, also a Flight Instructor certificate. Unfamiliarity with the aircraft and inadequate preparation were cited as probable causes on NTSB accident identification FTW79FRG21 file number 3-0436.

Sources:

NTSB FTW79FRG21 File 3-0436


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
25-Feb-2008 12:00 ASN archive Added
10-Jul-2011 04:43 Anon. Updated [Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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