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Mooney precautionary landing after baggage hatch opens in flight

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Mooney precautionary landing after baggage hatch opens in flight

Old 20th Jul 2020, 12:42
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Mooney precautionary landing after baggage hatch opens in flight

I haven't seen this one mentioned here yet. Mooney has the baggage hatch open in flight and wrap itself around the tail.
Video from a Dutch news channel: https://www.nu.nl/281867/video/brits...agageluik.html
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 13:22
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Hello!

Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
I haven't seen this one mentioned here yet.
Not here but about on every other aviation forum I'm aware of...
My view: He was startled (who would not be?), felt that his plane was more difficult to control than before (no wonder with a large piece of metal attached to the elevator), feared that more pieces might come off his plane and very quickly decided to to an emergency landing. So far so good and the outcome shows that he did a good job.

BUT: I find it absolutely unacceptable that this pilot devoted so much time to his GoPro camera during the emergency situation. Not only during the emergency itself, but also after touchdown. Turniung around and fiddling with the camera while the aircraft is still movin across hardly suitable terrain. What was he thinking?
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 13:39
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Originally Posted by what next View Post
.... this pilot devoted so much time to his GoPro camera ...What was he thinking?
Youtube. Itís life itself for some people.
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 15:11
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Without footage, it didn't happen.

Anyway, it's an interesting 'what would I do' question. I think I would have preferred a landing on an airport (where did he put it down?) and would have evaluated control response and such a bit more before plonking it down. The video may have been edited of course.
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 15:37
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Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
The video may have been edited of course.
Maybe. But what is not edited is the bit where he turns round and fiddles with the camera whilst the plane is still moving. No go!

Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
I think I would have preferred a landing on an airport ...
Unfortunately proper decision making techniques are not taught at PPL level. Especially the "C" at the end of "FORDEC" or the "R" in "DODAR" (which are just two of several acronyms used in that context). The "C"heck or "R"eview bit that turns a momentary decision into a continuous loop that can help to find a better strategy: Oh - I still can control my plane fairly well. I have reduced my speed so other pieces may not break off. Everything else (icluding my GopRo, checked that one several times...) still seems to work. So maybe I can reach an airfield with a proper runway and emergency service. But (other than, to repeat myself, for diverting so much attention to his camera) I wouldn't blame him for that. He probably never heard about it or, even worse, was taught to stick with his decision no matter what.
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 16:41
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I believe the landing was on the strip at Membury.
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 16:56
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Decision making techniques like the ones mentioned are indeed not in the PPL syllabus, but sometimes instructors do manage to sneak them in there. If this had been someone I knew (club member, ex-student) I would probably have congratulated him first, after all everyone on board lived to tell tweet/blog about it, then I would have sat down and asked him "looking back on it, what would you have done differently?"
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 17:12
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Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
Decision making techniques like the ones mentioned are indeed not in the PPL syllabus, but sometimes instructors do manage to sneak them in there. If this had been someone I knew (club member, ex-student) I would probably have congratulated him first, after all everyone on board lived to tell tweet/blog about it, then I would have sat down and asked him "looking back on it, what would you have done differently?"
Perhaps the answer to that would be "maybe I should have checked the door properly before I took off"!!
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 17:51
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Originally Posted by JustinHeywood View Post
Youtube. Itís life itself for some people.
the unedited video shows a different picture

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Old 20th Jul 2020, 19:05
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It always brings a great deal of pleasure to watch someone try to land an aeroplane at VNE!
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 19:22
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Originally Posted by richardthethird View Post
It always brings a great deal of pleasure to watch someone try to land an aeroplane at VNE!
Speaking as a youtube expert () on Mooneys , I would say he was incredibly lucky that series of horrible bounces didn't end in a prop strike and back flip.

Last edited by double_barrel; 22nd Jul 2020 at 06:52.
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 20:01
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If I were in charge of that camera, and had somehow managed to succeed in that approach, and those landings, I'd sure be hiding the video!

That was certainly a [preventable] unplanned event, which would startle any pilot. It was not cause to rush to the ground, nor to fly a horribly poor approach. A fire, maybe, not that. When, in the past, I've have control problems, I have always first established that I have some, and enough control, then taken my time, and climbed higher as possible, to understand if the plane could be expected to fly differently - before I flew a strafing run and some landings in a compromised plane....
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 20:21
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The "gear unsafe" light on the panel goes out about 5 seconds before the wheels hit the ground for the 1st time.
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 20:30
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Any SEP is easily controlled using pitch trim only should the elevator get jammed, and that training was part of the syllabus when I got mine 20 or so years ago, so it's certainly no reason to panic. I even landed the PA28 I was training on using pitch trim and rudder only (minimal wind day if I remember), which worked nicely. Just about the only critique I have is on the execution of the landing. He came in really hot, and not in a preferred direction seeing how he crossed numerous what looked like bitumen strips. Not only do those usually have nasty edge boundaries with the grass, but with just a minor S turn he would have been able to land on one of them.

And on the topic of CRM, it would have been better to have his pax look after the video. That would have given them something to focus on as well. She seemed moderately distressed, understandably. I wonder if she's going easyjet next time.

Edit: Ok, after having seen the youtube version, I'd have a whole bunch of points to add... I'll save those for the other arm chair experts, save this one: I'm surprised he immediately dove for the ground, rather than first establishing what level of control impact this event had. Also, the pax reaction was pretty cool. She spots the portaloos. hahaha.

Last edited by physicus; 20th Jul 2020 at 20:42.
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 21:26
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"Any SEP is easily controlled using pitch trim only should the elevator get jammed."
I've practiced flying with rudder, throttle, trim on C152, Pa28, Pa38, Jodel DR1050, and Bolkow Junior. That's with elevator free. I'm not sure how it might be with normal elevator controls, but a damaged or partly jammed elevator. Trim control would work if elevator controls disconnected, but elevator OK.
The Jodel would have to touchdown at high speed, and would likely lose control. The others should land OK.
As regards his decision to land as soon as possible, there was a fatal Europa crash where they broke off at final, presumably to sort out a problem. Then a wing broke off.
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 22:16
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The way the door is wedged in the elevator i think he did a very good job. Probably no pitch control. Mooney's are a strange beast with a all moving tail for trim, perhaps lucky to be in a Mooney. Landing flapless to prevent further pitch changes and at speed, gear at last minute, all added up to a safe landing.

Non of us know the reason for the door to become detached, just perhaps next time we all take more notice of baggage doors.
I remember watching a piano wire on a PA28 cowling hinge creeping forward to the prop. in flight.
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 01:52
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I think he made a very good decision. And had a lucky outcome. Land the aircraft while you still Have control. He had a door hindering pitch control and causing unwanted drag and roll which could also have weakened the aircraft structurally.

Can all the CRM experts explain how DODAR Is going to Help when he loses control or the tail comes off?
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 02:13
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If you suspect that your airplane may have been weakened, it would be wise to slow it down, while maintaining a safe margin. Drag is a square of the speed. When you've decided to land, sure, carry a little extra speed, just in case... But flying way faster than suitable leads to an unstable approach, and a greater risk close to the ground if something goes wrong then. Unless you've practiced very fast approaches (which I do occasionally for possible flapless landings), you're better to fly an approach as normal as possible for your skills. When something out of your control has changed, keep as much as possible within your control reasonably "normal".

If the idea landing spot is right in front (which it perhaps was for this fellow), then sure, head for it. Remembering: "Aviate, Navigate, Communicate". This pilot looses a lot of points with me for flying a very unstable approach, in an obvious rush, while diverting much too much of his necessary attention to "communicate" (the camera). Forget the silly camera, and do important pilot stuff! No one has the excess skill capacity to entirely assure that landing worked out well, while fiddling, or even thinking about the camera!
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 06:39
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BALONEY

The guy did an excellent job with unknown damage and unknown handling consequences.
Know of two gliding fatalities after mid air collisions who chose not to bail out and when they slowed up lost roll control and rolled on their backs.
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 08:05
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I can't tell how the aircraft was handling after that event, but it certainly looks to me like a rushed, not to say panicked, response that came very close to a disastrous outcome.
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