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PA28 damaged due to open door

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PA28 damaged due to open door

Old 11th Mar 2022, 14:44
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PA28 damaged due to open door

A PA28 was involved in an eventful landing after the cabin door opened in flight. No injuries fortunately.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-60700898
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Old 11th Mar 2022, 15:43
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The cabin door opened in a PA28 early on in my PPL training in 1975. The instructor, Cliff Barnett, got me to reduce to just above stall speed with flaps down but still couldn’t close the door due to the airflow. We returned to the airfield and I landed successfully while Cliff held on to the door. It was suggested to us by the CFI that opening the vent hatch would have allowed the door to close.
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Old 11th Mar 2022, 15:47
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AAIB report

https://assets.publishing.service.go...AVBT_03-22.pdf
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Old 11th Mar 2022, 19:58
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I had the Pa28 door open departing Hanksville, Utah, solo. I returned and landed no problem. I might have used rudder to keep it close to fuselage. I don't remember if I got it closed in the air.
Centre lock on that airframe was difficult to catch - as I heard later.
Continued with flight after locking it.
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Old 11th Mar 2022, 21:10
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It's about time that performing one flight - a complete flight from A to B, not just a short pattern! - with an open door in a training aircraft becomes part of the PPL syllabus. To demonstrate to the new pilots that these airplanes don't care the least little bit whether or not the door is open, closed or missing altogehter. There is some noise and some draft, maybe a little unpleasant on a cold day, but this is it. Just keep flying. So many totally unnecessary crashes and hard landings after rushed "emergency returns" could be avoided.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 01:55
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So true, it happens from time to time, not a big deal.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 01:56
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What an utter lack of skill and understanding on the part of the instructor.
An open door in a Pa28 is a complete non event.
No student of mine ever flew solo without having flown at least one pattern with the door open. Half the time I was the one that forgot to latch it properly in the first place.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 11:33
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There was a great line by the great Capt Warren Vanderburgh that applies to this incident. "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to make you like this". This incident with a warrior door comming open and the instruct not being able to deal with it adequitely is a classic example of what happens when generations of instructor who just don't know are teaching new instructors sho just don't know, then they go on to teach others.

I have done probably 500 landings with doors floating open on the Warrior. How do I know this, I have sent at least 500 1st solos in Warriors, and everyone has had the door pop open on the 1st circuit (while dual), because I made it happen. The students freaks out , I show them the aircraft flies quite fine, they calm down when they realise the thing is not going to fall out of the sky, we land, close the door and continue the sortie. I have had dozens and dozens of students have the door pop open on later flights and they all said they were well prepared from the experiance with me and just got on with flying the aircraft. No biggie.

I place the blame squarely on that instructors own previous instructors, the chief pilot who did the induction of the instructor (S&P checks), the instructors who sent her first solo, PP:, CPL training and more importantly, the instructors who did her instructor rating and the examiner who tested her for the rating. All share a portion of the blame.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 11:39
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I have had dozens and dozens of students have the door pop open on later flights
Maybe the manufacturers have a bit of responsibility? On my a/c there is a big red light in your face if the canopy isn't locked.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 12:51
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The main door of the single-engine Cherokee flew open shortly after take-off.
Ahhhh, no it didn't, it popped open, and trailed a few inches upon, neither opening more, nor being willing to be closed. This should be trained as an acknowledge and ignore event. If everything else is fine, you can play with the rudder, and probably get it closed, but you can also break the door handle if you fight against it.

There is no excuse for loosing control of the airplane. As per FAA AC105-2c, all PA-28-140, 160 & 180s may be approved to fly with the cabin door removed.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 14:08
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I was in a DC3 when the forward freight door unlatched itself on climb-out and stayed three or four inches open. The captain looked back when the door warning light came on but we gave him the thumbs-up and I managed to pull it shut with the other engineer holding my jacket. It took a good tug but nothing too demanding. After that we had a bungee cord to hold the handle in place until the worn latch aperture doublers could be replaced.

An experienced PPL holder once told me it was possible to yaw a Cessna single into a turn by opening one of the cabin doors. slightly.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 14:38
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Originally Posted by stevef View Post
An experienced PPL holder once told me it was possible to yaw a Cessna single into a turn by opening one of the cabin doors. slightly.
It was (a very unusual I must confess) part of my PPL instructor course to land a C152 with the doors alone. Set the power so that it will just climb a tiny little bit, 100ft/min maybe, and tighten the lock of the throttle lever. Then unlock both doors and push them outwards with your arms as needed, an adult's armspan is large enough to do that alone. One at a time for turns and both toghether to turn that little climb rate into a shallow descent. No problem to land it that way provided the runway is long enough and not too much wind.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 15:31
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An experienced PPL holder once told me it was possible to yaw a Cessna single into a turn by opening one of the cabin doors.
Yes, but it doesn't work the way you'd think. Opening the left door will make the plane bank to the right. The doors are too far forward to act as a rudder, however, opening a door will force more air over that wing (compared to the other wing) and therefore cause it to lift a little more, and bank away from the opened door. That said, this is inadvisable, as the doors are not designed for this, and expensive to repair when a hinge, or the door structure is cracked from unintended loads. On floats, we may open and hold one or both cabin doors when sailing, to benefit from the wind.

When I flew jumpers in the 182 and 185, they had a right side upward opening door. The pilot opened or closed the door by use of the rudder. The position of the door could be controlled with pleasing precision this way.

Do not fly 100 series Cessnas with both front doors off, not approved, and unsafe.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 15:40
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When I did my PFT, the examiner quietly opened his door while we were lined up and waiting to take off. I noticed and asked him to close it, but I was told that if I hadn’t noticed it until the take off run, the “correct” response would have been to ignore it and continue the take off.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 15:46
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As a student I once trapped the end of the seat belt in the door of a 150 which started making a hell of a racket. Without really thinking I popped open the door and pulled it in. The instructor only looked slightly askance at me.

In the original story the most remarkable thing to me seems to be that in an unusual situation the instructor would let a 'trial flight' student do the landing. Even if that is just inaccurate reporting and the student was near PPL it still seems a strange decision unless the instructor had flown with the student a lot which obviously could not have been the case here.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 15:50
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I was flying a hired 152 very soon after qualifying, about 70 hours logged. I’d persuaded my wife to come up with me (she is a reluctant SLF in , to quote, a ‘proper plane with a proper pilot’)

not that far off the end of the runway is a high voltage pylon. It was as we were over that at the typical 152 ‘just about flying speed’ that the passenger door opened

I didn’t realise that in managing to deal with that whilst neither crashing nor hitting the pylons qualified me as a sky god ….
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 16:14
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Originally Posted by letMfly View Post
The cabin door opened in a PA28 early on in my PPL training in 1975. The instructor, Cliff Barnett, got me to reduce to just above stall speed with flaps down but still couldn’t close the door due to the airflow. We returned to the airfield and I landed successfully while Cliff held on to the door. It was suggested to us by the CFI that opening the vent hatch would have allowed the door to close.

Was that the same Cliff Barnett who tragically lost his life in a twin engined aircraft accident involving a mid air collision? If so, he sent me off for my first powered solo, at Ipswich in 1973.
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 05:21
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So it was the instructor’s first flight as an instructor? With 1 hour logged in the last 90 days? And she let the student fly the approach to land?
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 14:54
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
Yes, but it doesn't work the way you'd think. Opening the left door will make the plane bank to the right. The doors are too far forward to act as a rudder, however, opening a door will force more air over that wing (compared to the other wing) and therefore cause it to lift a little more, and bank away from the opened door. That said, this is inadvisable, as the doors are not designed for this, and expensive to repair when a hinge, or the door structure is cracked from unintended loads. On floats, we may open and hold one or both cabin doors when sailing, to benefit from the wind.

When I flew jumpers in the 182 and 185, they had a right side upward opening door. The pilot opened or closed the door by use of the rudder. The position of the door could be controlled with pleasing precision this way.

Do not fly 100 series Cessnas with both front doors off, not approved, and unsafe.
This is a fascinating thread but, with some experience of maintaining Cessna 152/172s, I must voice a little disquiet. The hinge material is actually made from recycled coffee-machine pods; they may look flimsy, but they are not nearly as strong as they look. On your next pre-flight, compare them with hinges on the control surfaces that Clyde intended you to use.

When that door comes off, it will likely take half the horizontal stab with it. Better be prepared to flap the remaining door like [email protected] to maintain stability.
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 15:33
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Originally Posted by DuncanDoenitz View Post
When that door comes off, it will likely take half the horizontal stab with it..
Are there any accident/incident reports regarding this issue? I did a search on the internet and could not find anything.
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