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Found 1 result

  1. I was teaching my partner about emergencies in our 1-month-brand-new-to-us J today. I secretly pulled the gear actuator breaker after takeoff to simulate a failure. It took him a while to notice but he did well: Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. After leveling off and reaching about 130kts, we hear a POP and some rushing wind. I looked back and said something along the lines of "The baggage door just came open!" except slightly more vulgar. I told him to slow down and checked to see that he was before looking back again. I saw the door pop off of the little arm that holds it up, heard some banging, then I saw debris falling to Earth behind us. "And it's gone..." I said. I tasked him with flying the plane while I handled everything else. I called tower in the most annoyed tone because I was the last one who had opened the baggage compartment and this was probably my fault. We kept our speed down around 90 the whole way back and we did well at keeping calm, talking through what might be different with the door open, and just flying the plane. As we touched down a Bonanza holding short said "Tower, the Mooney might like to know that their baggage door is open..." Tower replied "He said it's completely gone." "It looks like it's still attached, though." What? When we slowed to a taxiing pace I opened the door and leaned out. Sure enough, the door was still attached. Hooray! Maybe it's salvageable. After further inspection, I'm not sure what its condition is. The door cannot be closed. Someone decided to put a GPS antenna right above the hinge, so when the door broke free of the arm, it bent the metal over the antenna. I feel like if that hadn't been there, the metal might not have bent so much if at all. There doesn't appear to be any airframe or even skin damage, the hinge doesn't look bent, and the arm sheared its bolt off at the door, so it is still firmly attached to the frame as well. The debris I saw was the interior paneling and maybe some insulation. The latch is strange. It was in the locked position when we got out of the plane. It seems to lock, but it will not open/unlatch correctly. Something is definitely not right internally but we'll probably never know if that happened before or after the incident. I always latch that door by pressing it with my left hand and closing the latch with my right. I typically use the handle to help myself up onto the wing as well, so I would imagine if I hadn't shut it properly I would have pulled it open. There was no abnormal noise or airflow during the runup, takeoff, or the climb. You usually read of these incidents happening during or right after takeoff, never 10 minutes into the flight after various bits of maneuvering. That leads me to think that something broke. But I've always been a forgetful person despite my best efforts so I'll probably never shake the feeling that I was at fault. Anyone know what a new or salvage door costs?