Flying with the door open

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Timbeck2, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,542
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jack Fleetwood
    Nothing quite like flying in an A-36 with no baggage doors while a Pitts hunts you down like a fighter! Well, maybe hanging out of a B-25 while a real fighter, P-51 chases you down!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    21,336
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Interesting. So no throttle to descend, just the doors. :ihih:
     
  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    21,336
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    I was flying a Dr's A36 from Destin to Marathon w/ him up front and his kids in the back. Climbing out of Destin he reaches behind my seat and I ask what's going on. He says window is open. Bo windows swing open from the bottom but only open maybe 4-6" I think. Anyway I slow as he tries to close it, then he says it's gone. What's gone? The window is gone. Descended back into Destin and landed. He charters a 135 Navajo and continued on to Marathon, I take his Mercedes and drive back home to Alabama.

    The whole window behind the left seat was missing in action. I always envisioned someone laying out on the beach and this thing floating down next to them. Whomp!
     
  4. wrbix

    wrbix Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,372
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pilot Lite
    What is this door thing of which you speak?
     
  5. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    24,990
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    I admit I failed to secure my luggage door during one flight. It took awhile to figure it out, the aircraft was 5 mph slower and I couldn't figure out why until I looked back. I was at about 7K feet, and thought about landing at my nearest, but I figured by the time I lost the altitude I'd be at my destination. I did slow down. All my pals got to see me land with my luggage door open. The only damage to the door was a bit of missing paint. My CFI told me he did the same thing, but in his case (faster Mooney) the door departed the aircraft. 5 AMUs in repairs.
     
  6. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,635
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
  7. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    21,336
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
  8. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,635
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    Yeah, I lived in the area when that happened.
    The article doesn't do a great job describing the Capts position hanging onto the door, but I remember a rendering when it first happened.
    He went headfirst with his head at the bottom of the stair door, so he was pretty much hanging upside down.
     
  9. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    21,336
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Wow. Very fortunate. Did he continue to fly?
     
  10. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,635
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    I think so, but it was many years ago now so my memory may have faded a tad.
     
  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    9,189
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
  12. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,766
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    Seems like the thing to do would be get uncoordinated and stay there. Right door goes up, then right rudder to keep the air pushing on the outside of the door so it doesn't catch the inside and pin it against the fuselage. 'Step' on the bad door so to speak. You should be able to find a combination of turns, probably a few 270's to get on final and don't 'unslip' it until just before touchdown.
     
  13. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    14,950
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eight Balla
    Yeah. Be the guy sitting in the right rear seat flying open door in Wildflecken, Germany in January. I thought I was going to freeze in to a solid block of ice.
     
    Velocity173 likes this.
  14. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    4,505
    Location:
    Vail, Arizona
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Timbeck2
    That sounds like something one would volunteer to do. ;)
     
  15. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,766
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    Good thinking.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  16. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,766
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    Hmm. Don't think that would have crossed my mind. Now it will. AND, new ammo for the high vs low wing debate.
     
  17. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,766
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    I've been thinking about something to do on my next BFR. Just gotta find a CFI who says 'cool' lets go instead of Huh!
     
    Glenn D likes this.
  18. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    9,189
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    IMG_2532.JPG

    Never sit in the back row in a 60. :(
     
    nauga likes this.
  19. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    2,026
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    I was beginning to feel left out, I've never had a door pop open on me.. PA28, 172, SR20, etc., none opened
     
  20. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    2,026
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    Obviously for planes that can fly without doors this wouldn't be an issue.. but for planes that are intended to have latched doors is there any structural integrity decrease when a door "pops" open? I seem to recall reading somewhere that if the L3 and R3 doors are left open on an empty B747 and the plane is then filled with fuel the flex from the wings and fuse makes closing the doors again near (if not) impossible.. that would suggest there is some strength coming from them

    Have also heard anecdotally that Metroliners, stretch DC-8s, etc. can have some issues with doors, like if they're towed with open doors there can be some twisting
     
  21. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,938
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    Not necessarily. It just means you can't deform the door when trying to shut it to fit in the hole. WHen the fuselage deforms with the door closed, it deforms the door with it.
     
  22. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    548
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    midwestpa24
    Learjets and some other business jets have the same issue. The door is a structural part of the fuselage. Towing the aircraft with the door open can cause structural damage to the airframe.
     
  23. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,635
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    We were not allowed to tow with the door open, but not for structural reasons, but rather the door was close to the ground and under certain circumstances could hit the ground.

    I can understand the door structural thing, but if that's an issue during towing with.... an extra .01 G...????
     
  24. TRocket

    TRocket Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    812
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Uncle Jesse
    And when that happens in the south east in the summer that's called a blessing.

    Have had it happen to me a couple of times in a cherokee, top isn't quite latched or pops open at the top, I just choose to enjoy the A/C and keep rollin.
     
    jordane93 likes this.
  25. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    548
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    midwestpa24
    Look at the size of the door in respect to the circumference of the fuselage. The door takes up about 30% or more of the fuselage. On some aircraft such as this, the engineers accounted for the door being closed and latched to take a lot of the stress off of the surrounding door frame. Its not necessarily a G loading issue, but one of twisting/bending momentum on the fuselage.
     
  26. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,635
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    Okay. Perhaps it is some percentage, but nowhere close to 1/3 on the airplanes I'm talking about.
     
  27. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,635
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    Ahh... 1/3 the circumference... but really.... during towing that makes that much of a diffence?? Yet it can take several G's with the door closed??
     
  28. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,238
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    Pretty sure it was a limitation on the beechjet too. Be a while though. Could just be getting senile.
     
  29. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    548
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    midwestpa24
    Direct from the Lear 45 manual, want to keep arguing?

    2. Aircraft Towing
    CAUTION: ENSURE THAT EMERGENCY EXIT DOOR AND LOWER
    PASSENGER/CREW DOOR IS CLOSED AND LATCHED WHEN TAXIING OR TOWING
    THE AIRCRAFT. THIS IS TO AVOID POSSIBLE AIRCRAFT STRUCTURAL OR
    EMERGENCY EXIT DOOR DAMAGE.
     
  30. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,938
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    That still doesn't mean the door is providing rigidity to the fuselage. You snag that door on some low object or the ground and I bet it can do some serious damage to both the door and the aircraft. If the lower door provides rigidity to the fuselage, the upper door (no warning on leaving that open) probably has a bigger role. Suspect the emergency door hinges can't take being bounced along with it open.
     
  31. ZeroPapaGolf

    ZeroPapaGolf Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Messages:
    593
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    formerly 'cheap weenie'
    Considering it only mandates the bottom half be closed, the 'structural damage' it warns of is probably the door getting ripped off on a stray chock.
     
  32. Glenn D

    Glenn D Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    So Cal
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Glenn D
    It was fun!,, I did try it a few times and mostly did great... once had more headwind than I planned for and was short, needed power to make the field., just trim it up for best glide speed, idle power, and no flaps... stable descending, then use the doors to turn, and yes, both to increase the decent. just can't flair for landing.. not good to land on the nose wheel first!.
     
  33. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,766
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    All right. More ammo for the high wing, two doors low wing one door debate
     
  34. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    3,990
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian Flynn
    Seem to recall an accident with something like a C210 where the forward baggage door being open caused excessive drag and a crash on departure....but otherwise doors at generally not a problem.
     
  35. wayne

    wayne Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Messages:
    832
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    wayne
    I've had them pop several times, in different planes. Some because some pinhead (i.e. me :oops: ) forgot to latch the door fully. Some due to poor mx on old rentals. Those that pop on take-off, most common, I just fly the pattern, land and fix on the ground. It's safe and quick. Those that pop higher up I often just deal with the noise. Those have been rare and the worn out rentals.

    I read too many postings and articles about crashes as someone tried to deal with the door instead of flying. I just fly the dang plane, then deal with the door on the ground. Saving a few minutes is just not worth the risk.
     
  36. Briar Rabbit

    Briar Rabbit Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Albion, Nebraska
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rob
    On Cessna 310's when the door pops open in flight the air flow between the right engine nacelle and the fuselage creates a Ventura effect. Pulls the door open with authority. With this effect it is not a good idea to use flaps on landing in low wing twins with an open door directly above the wing as it can set up a buffet on the right tail surfaces according to an engineer friend. No personal experience though.
     
  37. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    21,336
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Yup. Someone better be minding the store for sure.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Air_Lines_Flight_401
     
  38. Yeti Niner Five

    Yeti Niner Five Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Yeti Niner Five
    Had it happen once in a Bonanza. The only bad part is that I had a first time flyer (at least in a GA plane) with me. Once he realized he wasn't going to die, it wasn't bad.

    He kept commenting about how I kept my cool. He didn't realize that I knew what he didn't...it's not a big deal. Guess flying the Cub with door open all those hours was good practice.
     
  39. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    9,380
    Location:
    Southeast Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    This page intentionally left blank
    Late in primary training my instructor popped the door on the 172 right as we were at the point where you could barely get it down if you tried. Elected to fly the pattern and he closed it once we were back on the ground.
     
  40. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,766
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    I'd like to say it's never happened to me, but my ratio of seat belt beating the sheet out of the fuselage to popped open door is holding steady at 2 to 1
     
    Zeldman likes this.