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BUMFFPITCHH.. H?

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BUMFFPITCHH.. H?

Old 9th Mar 2021, 00:17
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting points re the doors.

I once took off from a busy international airport in an early PA-34 (Seneca I). Ordinarily I'd give the doors in most a/c a thump with my fist after closing, just to check they're truly closed, but in this case the only passenger was a rated pilot...

I watched him close the door, then a little later, before powering up, asked him if he was closed and locked. Yes! he said, and gave it a half-hearted lean.

Shortly after, on the climb out, the door popped open. I don't recall now whether it was just at the top but, while it was noisy, I didn't consider it dangerous and following a quick attempt to close it (nope, it wouldn't) I elected to carry on and find a nearby small airfield to land and properly close the door - glaring at the errant passenger in the process.

What I (re) learned from that was to always check the doors with a good push myself if I could, no matter who was in the RH seat.

I was happy with the decision to carry on at the time, and would probably do so again under the same circumstances, but if anyone thinks differently it'd be good to hear from you. FWIW if it had been a quiet aerodrome I'd have just circled back and immediately sorted it out on the ground, but after weighing up the hassle factor in this case vs the likelihood of any real problem we got out of controlled airspace first...
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 11:09
  #22 (permalink)  
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Anyone care to comment on Downwind checks ?
Sure. Refer to the manufacturer's checklist. "G" for "Gear" in a mnemonic .... Not even close!!

And, if it's an RG, twice before short final, observe and state (out loud) the landing gear position, and surface you intend to land on. For example: "Wheels are down for landing on runway.", or "Wheels are retracted for ditching/intended forced landing in a plowed field.", or "Wheels are retracted, skis extended, for landing on snow." or, "Wheels are extended, skis retracted, for dry runway landing.", or, "Wheels are retracted for landing on water" (for amphibians).

When I train pilots in these various types of planes, I will tell them the I will remind them once, but not a second time, to speak the gear position out loud twice. If they forget again, I'll call a late "Go around" with urgency, simply to startle them less then landing with the wrong gear position selection would have. No other pilot, nor passenger, is going to criticize you for observing and stating the landing gear position. Probably other pilots will think to themselves: "Hmm, I should probably do that too!" - particularly when they realize that wheel/ski planes, and most amphibians do not have any landing gear position warning system - 'cause the plane does not know the surface upon which you intend to land, so it's completely up to you!
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 14:56
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Anyone care to comment on Downwind checks ?
Yes.
Can we please stop calling them 'downwind' checks. The term 'pre-landing' checks covers not only the downwind but the base and straight-in joins. I learned this fairly early on when the only joins permitted at my base airfield were left or right base joins, (depending on runway in use) as the airfield was inside the Heathrow Zone. If you're not ever 'downwind' and you've on.ly learned to do the checks 'downwind' then you're not going to do them.
I read recently that every item on the list is there because someone has paid dearly for not doing it.

TOO
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 15:33
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever View Post
I also tell my students that in the event of a forced landing in a retractable gear aircraft, the landing should be done gear up unless landing on a runway is assured.
Really? Misters Piper, Cessna and Swearingen (I have not flown retractables from anyone else) all have a different opinion on that. E.g. the emergency procedures section in the manual of a Pa28 Arrow, that I have right before me, calls for gear-up emergency landings only in case of very short of soft/wet fields (and ditchings). So there is not one procedure - and especially not one mnemonic - that fits all.
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 17:41
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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When I train pilots in these various types of planes, I will tell them the I will remind them once, but not a second time, to speak the gear position out loud twice.
Quite right too. I totally agree. Most ab initio training takes place in fixed gear aeroplanes and therefore it should not be "undercarriage down and locked" as often taught but to be correct "undercarriage - fixed".

I'm not a lover of mnemonics because they too easily become thoughtless. 'bumffpitchh' and forever onward - this one can get longer - is just silly and can only serve as a distraction. If your going to use a mnemonic keep it short, you should know what to do.
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 19:18
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever View Post
The Raj Hamsa XkAir is an ultra light. Because it is an ultra light it is not subject to most of the requirements of a certified aircraft. Ultra lights are also by definition very lightly built and thus have a sad significant history of inflight structural failure.

With respect to the dangers of an opened cabin door coming off in flight and damaging the aircraft I would suggest the instances of ultra light failures do little to inform with respect to that risk in certified aircraft. That being said the case for handling an open door may need to be different in Ultra light.

I personally refuse to fly in ultra light aircraft as I am not comfortable with the lack of a rigorous process to ensure design and construction safety. Since I am not familiar with UL operations please note my comments regarding the appropriate actions for a cabin door open in flight are restricted to certified light aircraft.
In Britain it's a microlight, subject to a lighter touch but still robust approval process. They do not have a significant history of in-flight structural failures.

I have a share of a Bolkow Bo209-150FF Monsun, an aerobatic part 21 CofA aeroplane, that 2 years ago half of the canopy separated from the aeroplane in flight. The pilot, fortunately a very experienced ex-military pilot landed quite safely, but we never did find the canopy. It's presumably under a field near Oxford somewhere. That was a disbonded glue joint.

I'm also aware of a hinged canopy on an EV97 Eurostar SL -a kit built light aircraft - that came open in flight leading to drag greater than the engine could manage and a field landing from Calais airport 4 years ago (there's no official report on that because the French authorities don't investigate accidents on amateur built aeroplanes).

Here's an AAIB report on another kitplane whose canopy came open then detached in flight. The cause was failure to properly secure the canopy catch - something that could readily occur with many certified aeroplanes. There's a good reason for the second H. https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/aaib...sling-4-g-ldsa

The obvious explanation for why you want the canopy secure before landing, is that in the event of a hard landing, that could dislodge an improperly secured door or canopy, creating a distraction at a high workload period of the flight.

These things can happen.

G
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 10:47
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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The Aero AT3 is a part -21 aircraft which has a history of the canopy opening in flight. This is a common event although I have not heard of a canopy detaching from the aeroplane.

The overhead canopy pops into the fuselage by two lugs either side forward of the firewall. There are no conventional hinges. The canopy rotates forward vertically around the lugs assisted by two hydraulic closers, one either side. The canopy must be lowered with care as it twists side to side if not held centrally and therefore can be closed off centre. If this is the case then the locking pins will miss the associated slots at the rear of the opening even though the locking lever can be moved to the locked position. The canopy will not be locked when this happens. This failure to lock cannot be seen and can only be known by pushing outward at the rear pin point on each side. This takes some effort. If the pins have missed the slot the canopy can be pushed outward and this movement can be seen.

Last edited by Fl1ingfrog; 10th Mar 2021 at 11:12.
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 11:43
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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TOO , agree strongly on Pre Landing checks ...
A few years ago , a twin coming in for routine maintenace positioned straight in , ...landed wheels up . Major rebuild .
If he'd had joined downwind , I suggest it would not have happened as pilot of the 'Downwind checks era.
Pre Landing in ones mind may have helped .

rgds
condor .
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Old 11th Mar 2021, 12:37
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Just follow whatever checklist that is in the POH/POM.... Then you don't have to worry about any special "features" with the aircraft.
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 14:27
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever View Post
I challenge anybody to find a report where a light aircraft cabin door came off in flight and hurt the airplane.
I agree with you - but couldn't resist your challenge! https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/aaib...ey-m20k-g-osus

Obviously baggage door rather than crew door but food for thought...
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 16:02
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ridger View Post
I agree with you - but couldn't resist your challenge! https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/aaib...ey-m20k-g-osus

Obviously baggage door rather than crew door but food for thought...

The Mooney baggage door opens upward. The door geometry in the open position with respect to the airflow undoubtedly contributed to this incident. If the door had been hinged on the forward side it is extremely unlikely it would have come off.

Bad stuff happens and the take away on this is the same as for any open door FLY THE AIRPLANE FIRST. It is notable that the pilots efforts to stay current and practice emergency procedures paid off when his day went bad.

This thread has drifted around a bit but a few comments on other matters

First I want to reiterate my early comments with respect to an instructor telling a student to abort a takeoff if a cabin door opens “because the door could fall off and hit the aircraft”. I think this is utter rubbish and needs to get stamped out now. As for every abnormal or emergency situation control of the airplane is the most important thing. If there is sufficient runway to come to a safe stop then obviously do that, sort the door and set up for a second takeoff attempt. If there is doubt about stopping then continue the takeoff fly a circuit land and sort the door.

However as I also specified, this advice is intended for the normal certified light aircraft found at flight schools and flying clubs. If you are flying some bizarre type like an ultralight helicopter or some sort of flying lawn furniture, then I would suggest a type specific evaluation of potential emergency situations is needed and a plan for each one is clear in your mind. This may involve rejecting every takeoff with an open door even if it means crashing off the end of the runway because the aircraft will be uncontrollable with an open door.

With respect to landing gear up for a forced approach, I should have been more specific. My advice to always land gear up was for types that had no specific direction in their POH. Obviously follow the POH advice first. However it should be noted that the POH advice, like that in Piper retractables usually starts with a caution that the pilot needs to evaluate every scenario. The reason for the recommendation for a gear up landing was to reduce the chance of the aircraft cartwheeling or overturning.

There are disadvantages to putting the gear down for a forced approach. In some airplanes, if the engine is seized the emergency gear lowering procedure would have to be used. I would suggest after the engine fails you have enough on your plate already. Also the extra drag of the gear will alter the glide flight path significantly. If you have the field nicely made I would suggest you not mess with success

Finally “Downwind Checks” should IMO be banished from the flight training lexicon and only the term “Prelanding Check” be used for the reasons pointed out by earlier posters.
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 16:04
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Finally “Downwind Checks” should IMO be banished from the flight training lexicon and only the term “Prelanding Check” be used for the reasons pointed out by earlier posters.


That was made extremely clear to me when I did my CRI course 11 years ago, and I have never returned to the terminology.

I must admit I thought that "Downwind checks" were largely dead and buried by now, but clearly not.

G
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 09:06
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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I was taught to fly 50years ago, SEP, the “downwind” checks I learned then are firmly imprinted in my mind, I always do them downwind when flying the same simple types, Cessna, PA28 etc. I think it would be unwise of me to change these habits now which have stood me in good stead until now.
Yes, I include “gear down and locked” even on a fixed gear aeroplane.

Last edited by Meldrew; 14th Mar 2021 at 09:08. Reason: addung further comment
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 09:49
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=Meldrew;11008225]I was taught to fly 50years ago, SEP, the “downwind” checks I learned then are firmly imprinted in my mind, I always do them,..........
Me too 50+ years now and still push an imaginary u/c down as l do the checks.
After all you never knew when one day you might be in a folding u/c aeroplane. I even still say "pitch set to fine"
Why not, even if only to be consistent, it only consumes a few seconds.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 11:36
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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In the modern world we don't always join downwind, other than, of cause, at uncontrolled airfields. At controlled aerodromes it is usual to be cleared via the most direct route. This also has an environment benefit by spreading the noise intensity away from one place. I too agree that the term 'pre-landing is therefore most appropriate.

and still push an imaginary u/c down as l do the checks. After all you never knew when one day you might be in a folding u/c aeroplane. I even still say "pitch set to fine"
Why not, even if only to be consistent, it only consumes a few seconds.
This is wrong. Repetitive checks with no purpose is just that. Some years ago I was checking out a friend, a Captain of a large jet, on a simple PA28. He had approximately 4000 hours instructing on club aircraft from some years earlier. During the circuit work his verbal checks were perfect with well synchronized touch controls. Other than a few issues with the round out, but never unsafe, I introduced a few problems. Having distracted him I pulled the mixture control by a few inches and switched to one magneto. Once again the checks were perfect but neither of these were corrected. When I pointed this out he was furious but not with me rather with himself. He undertook to take this back to work for discussion, I had obviously struck a nerve. I on the other hand incorporated all that as safely as I could to bring actual reality into the checks with all my students. Some things are quite simple: adjusting the altimeter, altering the HI by 30 degrees, demanding that when Ts and Ps are said then the actual temperature and the pressure is read out. Are the brakes actually fully off: i.e. C150 trained pilots press the top of the brakes even when flying a C172 which has a hand brake.

With regard to "gear down and locked and pitch fully fine". There is nothing more likely to wind up the neighbors than: a constant speed propeller, at fine pitch, screaming along the length of the downwind leg, as it fights against the lowered undercarriage drag.

Last edited by Fl1ingfrog; 14th Mar 2021 at 11:51.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 12:15
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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"Red - Blue - Green" Checked at around 500' on approach has saved me on a number of occasions.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 12:31
  #37 (permalink)  
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Repetitive checks with no purpose is just that.
I agree. A "check" is [hopefully] a "second look" confirmation that something appropriate to a phase of flight, has been correctly accomplished. If it's not appropriate, why do it? Prop to fine pitch? Appropriate on short final when the power is back. I agree, that in a potentially noise sensitive environment, whining along downwind does nothing beneficial. "Landing gear down"? Yes, appropriate if you're going to land a wheelplane on a suitable runway. So, that makes "Landing gear down for a runway landing" an appropriate checklist readback (which I insist on hearing out loud - or it's a go around). Because, you could be landing an RG in circumstances where having the landing gear retracted is going to work out better. Perhaps (probably) that will be a more task intensive landing, so blinding following rote of "Gear down" is likely to get you into trouble.

Nearly everything in a GA plane can wait the one or two seconds needed to pause and think about what you're doing. You have those couple of seconds to do it with forethought and logic, not just rote, then think back, or read back what you have checked. When I'm flying a plane with checklist items not required for that flight, (a recent example, a survey Caravan with many survey items on the checklist, when I'm not doing survey flying in it), I'll read the item, and respond "not required", rather than skipping it. That would also apply to flying an airplane with "landing gear" as a checklist item, when it's configured as a fixed gear plane.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 13:45
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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A common and wise response to these questions is always abide by the aircraft's POH/Manual. So, I've looked at a number of these today. I have yet to come across a POH that mentions "downwind" in any section. The terms used are variously; 'Pre-landing', 'before landing' and with one referring only to 'final' and 'short final' (neither of these terms are defined as a distance from landing).
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 15:55
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Like most posters I've had doors come open in a number of small types (PA34, PA44, PA28R, various Cessnas) with no issue. By far the biggest risk is distraction. This also applies to malfunctioning door open sensors in Diamonds.

I sometimes fly an aircraft with a sliding canopy. It's certified but not too common. There is an unwritten SOP that for this type, when operating somewhere quiet with nobody else in attendance (to help extract you or call the fire brigade), we take off and land with the canopy fixed open (below about 500ft).
The idea is that if one had a problem and had to land in a rough field or long grass and flipped over, it would be pretty hard to get out unassisted with the canopy closed.
The aircraft also has an "E.E.D" (emergency escape device = Homebase claw hammer) for such purposes. The forced landing and ditching checklists have "canopy fixed open" on them, too.
I guess other types with canopies like Chipmunks and so on are similar?
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Old 15th Mar 2021, 10:49
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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I would not disagree with most of the comments made already. However my personal view is that assuming a normal circuit is being flown, downwind is the time to do the “pre landing checks” On base leg I am configuring flap and trimming for correct airspeed, and on final I am concentrating on runway alignment and correcting for crosswind. This is no time to be doing the checks. I accept that variations are required when flying a non standard approach or a straight in.
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