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BUMFFPITCHH.. H?

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BUMFFPITCHH.. H?

Old 6th Mar 2021, 15:57
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BUMFFPITCHH.. H?

Hi Guys, I was just going through the various 'aid memoirs' that we accumulate over the years, and it struck me that maybe I was doing the H for Hatches wrongly.
When taught in a PA 38 the H meant to unlock the doors (In case the Fire Service had to make an entry.) However when flying Cessnas my instructors have never querried that I did not unlock the doors on the H.
Just like to know if you unlock prior to landing in your airplane, or just check the doors are closed...?
.
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 18:38
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I don't do anything to the doors before landing. Not that they have a lock anyway, but if they did why would I use it when in flight? Who is going to try to get in or out?
That's part of the pre take off check, not pre landing. Pre landing check is correct configuration, not everything working.... So it should be pretty straightforward and tailored to the aircraft. As in, no point checking prop pitch or undercarriage if they are fixed, but it's probably a good idea to confirm the altimeter setting and that you are using a tank with some fuel in, and on the right radio frequency. Invent your own memnonic, why don't you?
Access for rescue service? Hmmm. Not applicable at our aero club. Try not to crash.
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 18:47
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Hatches and Harnesses - SECURE
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 20:10
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Downwind on checkout in a Pa38. Something I've had a few times. BUT - this tme the instructor opens his door. I'd ask why, then consider a "MAYDAY - instructor breakdown" call.
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 20:23
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Originally Posted by scifi View Post
Hi Guys, I was just going through the various 'aid memoirs' that we accumulate over the years, and it struck me that maybe I was doing the H for Hatches wrongly.
When taught in a PA 38 the H meant to unlock the doors (In case the Fire Service had to make an entry.) However when flying Cessnas my instructors have never querried that I did not unlock the doors on the H.
Just like to know if you unlock prior to landing in your airplane, or just check the doors are closed...?
.
Hatches and Harnesses - SECURE (i.e. locked, Bloggs!)

I once learned a very good lesson from an instructor who asked what I would do if the door opened on takeoff. "Why, continue," I airily replied, having read an accident report wherein the aircraft left the runway as the unfortunate pilot tried to close an errant door and take off at the same time, "and sort it out in the air, with plenty of height in hand."

Wrong!

My ears are still ringing today from his opinion of what the open door might do to the tailplane structure if it came off in flight!

Secure, secure, secure. Latched and locked.

Light aircraft are thin-skinned structures of delicate, but strong, construction. If a fireman wants to get in, he'll get in, unlocked or not.

Hope that helps

Last edited by Capn Bug Smasher; 6th Mar 2021 at 20:34.
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 21:02
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Grrr

Originally Posted by Capn Bug Smasher View Post
Hatches and Harnesses - SECURE (i.e. locked, Bloggs!)

I once learned a very good lesson from an instructor who asked what I would do if the door opened on takeoff. "Why, continue," I airily replied, having read an accident report wherein the aircraft left the runway as the unfortunate pilot tried to close an errant door and take off at the same time, "and sort it out in the air, with plenty of height in hand."

Wrong!

My ears are still ringing today from his opinion of what the open door might do to the tailplane structure if it came off in flight
I think your instructor was mindlessly repeating some silly flight school-ism. So what he is saying even if you are just about to lift off on a short field and the cabin door opens your only option is to reject and run off the end because the door might fall off and hit the tail......Really!

I challenge anybody to find a report where a light aircraft cabin door came off in flight and hurt the airplane. Like every other emergency you fly the airplane first. If the door opens early in the takeoff run you stop and get off the runway and fix the door, if it happens later in the takeoff roll without enough runway to come to a comfortable stop; you ....takeoff.

FYI in the high wing Cessna’s, if the passenger door opens, place its handle in the open position if it is not already there then just open yours about an inch. The suction will close the door without you having to reach around the passenger to tug it closed, which will take a fairly good tug. With Pipers however I have not found a way to close an open door in flight. However it is not deal flying around with the door open as it will only hang open a few inches. You will be really cold however, if it happens in winter

Nose baggage doors on twins, however are whole different story. Depending on the type you may be in big trouble with an open nose baggage door, so it is vital they are checked closed and locked on the walk around. My SOP is that the nose baggage door has only 2 states, fully open on the door stay, or closed AND locked. It will never be closed but unlocked.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 01:23
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PA38 - Hatches secure, Harness secure!
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 10:37
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I challenge anybody to find a report where a light aircraft cabin door came off in flight and hurt the airplane.
Well, it was a microlight helicopter, but the door opened in flight (top hinged door) and went into the rotor. Two dead. Happened about a year ago in France, and I don't think the report is out yet.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 11:08
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Helicopters are in a chapter of their own, anyway. Especially securitywise.
And some might say that microlights are in a chapter of their own, especially securitywise.
So microlight helicopters are not in the top drawer, from several points of view.

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Old 7th Mar 2021, 11:42
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2 stories:
1. IMC training in a C172. Door opened as I lifted off, under the hood. Continued with takeoff, commenting to the instructor 'my door's opened'. 'Well, shut it then when safe to do so' he said. I'm DARNED sure I'd latched it locked before takeoff. I'm PRETTY sure he'd reached behind me and opened it. Door closed easily when we'd attained the cruise. Cessna doors are easy to open and close in flight Good lesson. On another flight he also had me takeoff (again under the hood) without me personally carrying out a walkraound, claiming he'd already done it and we were in a hurry. As I climbed out, the ASI started to decrease. I checked the revs and attitude, both good continued the climb and reported loss of airspeed to him. 'What are you going to do?' he asked. 'Level off after a suitable interval, declare an emergency and try to return to the field'. 'Fair enough, take off the hood and return to land'. After we landed, he showed me the 2 pieces of tape he'd put over the static vents. I must confess that I don't actually do any of this stuff with my students, but I DO talk about it so I guess the lesson gets passed on.
2. My wife was PIC in her PA28, I was pax in the right seat. Hot day and I opened the door as we backtracked the runway. I pulled it shut as we turned around at the end. Just as she lifted off, it popped open. I'd forgotten to secure the top latch. 'We've got to go back!' she exclaimed. I said we couldn't as the airfield was closing as we departed. I tried and failed to close it again so just left it trailing in the slipstream. Absolutely no effect on the handling but a bit noisy my side. The fallout was mighty, though and ten years on it's still brought up in conversation from time to time.

I've flown Cessna Aerobats with pins in the door hinges, in case you want to exit the aircraft whilst wearing a parachute. I'm sure they wouldn't do that if the thought the door was going to hit the tail. On the other hand, if you feel the need to take to a 'chute, then you might not be worrying too much about the aircraft once you've left it.

Now, as to unlatching doors before landing. This is something I DO teach in the event of a forced landing, where the fuselage might get distorted and the door would get jammed. Otherwise, they're firmly latched closed for a normal landing.

TOO

TOO
.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 12:06
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It is unlikely in the extreme that an opening door on a certified airplane is going to create a controllability/safety of flight concern. Airplane designers have errant opening doors in mind during the design process. That's not to encourage carelessness on the pilot's part, but rather to remind pilots that their first responsibility is to fly the plane safely, and keep flying it, until it's safely parked. Everything else is secondary. If a door has popped open, and once safely airborne, you'd like to close it, before applying silly amounts of pull on the handle, try some rudder one way or the other. The jump planes I flew with air operable doors were very easily gently opened and closed with rudder operation. If the door has an opening window (Cessna style, not the Piper hole in the window window), open the window, and pull on the lower aft portion of the window frame, it's stronger than the handle, and closing the window later is easy.

Many airplane types are permitted flight with a door removed, though often by additional approval, and sometimes with a deflector. A partial list for interest's sake includes most Beech Twins, All the Cessna singles, and a couple of twins, Most of the Piper PA series singles (though the Tomahawk does not appear on the list), and a number of other types.

If you're flying a Cessna Caravan solo, remember to lock the back cabin door from the inside (not just "closed and latched"), they can open in flight if not completely locked . Not harmful, just embarrassing. If you're flying a single Cessna with a baggage door, key lock it before takeoff, their latches are mediocre. The only type which I know sustains expensive damage with an errant open door in flight is the C 206/207, if a back clamshell door opens. It'll bang on the side of the fuselage and beat it up. The plane is safe to fly, but if it happens, you'd better continue on to a maintenance base, 'cause the plane is going to need repair before the next flight!

For GA singles, emergency crews are going to get in. I agree that there are flight manuals which state to unlatch doors before a forced landing - then you should certainly consider doing that, it was written for a reason. Otherwise, close them properly. Note that a few types (I'm thinking of the Cessna 177's) have a number of moving pins which latch the door closed in several places around the frame. These are moved into place in the motion of the handle from "Closed" to "Latched". If that motion of the the handle is not easy, reclose the door, as one of those pins may not have gone into position properly. If you force the handle to the "Latched" position, a pin may hang up, and spring a bit. Later in the flight, particularly in turbulence, it may pop into the correct position - it'll scare the @#!* out of you!
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 14:57
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Forced Landing

From a grey and wise instructor about a checklist at some stage in the descent into the field...

F.I.E.L.D.
  • Fuel - OFF
  • Ignition - OFF
  • Electrics - OFF (As soon as flaps are set)
  • Lapstraps - Tight
  • Doors - Open incase of airframe distortion
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 08:02
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But the OP is talking about normal landings and every one of them by the sound of it.

In a forced landing your throttle also needs to be closed (in case of a duff mag) and mixture ICO. And if retractable a decision about what to do with the gear. It'll take me a while to invent a new neumonic......................
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 11:57
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It'll take me a while to invent a new neumonic......................
Just refer to the one published by the airplane manufactuer in the approved flight manual.

Oh, wait, none to be found there? Probably because the airplane manufacturer, and approving authorities would like you to operate to plane using the procedures and checklists provided as a part of its approved type design. I don't deny that a few mnemonics can seem handy, but I never train them, I train the airplane checklist and procedures, and expect the pilot to refer to them. If they can effectively memorize them, and apply them, okay, if they cannot, get out the checklist (which is the expectation anyway). To me, a mnemonic can become an attempted substitute for the use of a checklist in that phase in flight, and possibly result in something being missed.

I'll usually fly a dozen or so different GA types in a year, sometimes having never flown that type before, and sometimes with a modification, for which I now must include a new checklist item (later to be approved) while I fly. Two of those types will be very familiar (I own them), everything else will be something I either fly rarely, or never before. For my RG, I will always state the landing gear position, and landing surface out loud, twice, before landing (it has no warning system, which I would not rely upon anyway). Otherwise, everything else for it, and my 150, are memory items (I'm kinda used to them by now). But for nearly everything else, I'll be referring to a checklist. I would never try to think up a mnemonic and apply it as a substitute to the use of a checklist. If doing so, and misaplying it, or getting it wrong, resulted in an incident, I really could not explain why I did not use a checklist.

I did my commercial flight test on my own Cessna 150, which I'd owned for more than 15 years, at the time) 15 years ago. Suffice to say I knew that plane very well. My instructor reminded me to actually use a paper checklist during the flight test, or I'd loose marks. Yup! I found one, printed it out, used it for the flight test, and never used it again. But I sure would not have used a mnemonic during the flight test, so why would I use it any other time?
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 16:29
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Glider canopies occasionally come loose. Rear opening canopies promptly depart the airframe. You may not notice in flight that a front opening canopy was not completely latched (don't ask).

Side opening canopies can be kept down with a bit of rudder.

Sadly glider and tow pilots have been killed when the glider pilot focuses on closing a side opening canopy instead of flying the airplane.

A towpilot was killed last year in the US when the glider got high on tow while the glider pilot was trying to close the canopy
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 17:03
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The problem with mnemonic’s, in addition to the points ably made by Pilot DAR, is all the systems are not created equally.

For example take the “F” for fuel. Before take off on some airplanes the selector should be on both, on others the fullest tank and on others, a specific tank (eg main or fuselage). On some airplanes the electric boost pump must be on on others it is imperative it is off.

The only way to know these possibilities and permutations is in the aircraft manual, which is also going to have a checklist, so why on earth would not use that over some mnemonic that somebody made up.

One of the biggest problems in flight training is made up Shyte from the good idea club that mindlessly gets passed down to each new generation of instructors, just like the lunacy that you have to abort a takeoff if the door opens because it could come off and hurt the airplane
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 21:57
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever View Post
The problem with mnemonicís...
I am in the lucky position that I never was taught using them and never had to teach anyone using them either. But coming back to the original question: The school in which I instruct uses a standardised departure and emergency briefing which is kept as simple as possible and easy to remember. It includes the "unlatch doors" item for all aircraft in the fleet (Cessnas and Piper singles and twins) which makes a lot of sense to me. But only in the case of an emergency landing. In normal landings the doors remain latched of course, otherwise they would create a major distraction in case of a go-around...
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 22:19
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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. Like every other emergency you fly the airplane first. If the door opens early in the takeoff run you stop and get off the runway and fix the door, if it happens later in the takeoff roll without enough runway to come to a comfortable stop; you ....takeoff.
I was heavily involved in flight testing and certification in the UK of the Raj Hamsa X'Air. We had a couple of incidents in testing of doors coming open in flight - it was top-hinged on a high wing aeroplane, and would fly sort of in formation with the wing, creating a rather problematic asymmetry, that could create significant control problems. If you were flying solo in the left seat and the right door came open, you'd really struggle to resolve that.

By the time it was approved in the UK, we'd made several design modifications that cured that (a secondary door catch basically). The unmodified aircraft was still approved in France and I think India, so I'd be amazed if the problem never happened in normal use there.

G
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 22:31
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Anyone care to comment on Downwind checks ?

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Old 8th Mar 2021, 22:36
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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.

With respect to the force landing case I teach my students to if practicable to unlatch the door prior to touchdown, emphasizing that this must not be done at the expense of flying the aircraft.

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.
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