The pilot reported that prior to the takeoff roll, his son, who was in the front right seat, had difficulty shutting and locking the cabin door. The pilot reached over and ensured the door was locked.
Shortly after liftoff the cabin door came open.
He maneuvered the Beech 56 to stay in the traffic pattern at the airport in Hudson, Colorado, and return to land. He reported that while on final he did not have any rudder authority and was unable to keep directional control.
He reported that prior to the initial impact he lost sight of the runway when the airplane pitched up and rolled left simultaneously. Subsequently the left wing hit the ground and sustained substantial damage.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the landing. Contributing to the accident was the distraction of the open cabin door.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA060
This November 2015 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.