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Emergency Landing | Baggage Door Blow Off Mid Flight | Model K


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I'm gonna quote myself and explain why I thought putting the gear down was not a given in this situation: In September 1996 I bought a new Mooney TLS Bravo, and in early summer 1997 a friend need

22nm after take off, mid point between Charlton Park(Private) & Fairoaks (London) the baggage hatch blow off which then could caught & wrapped it’s self firmly around the right hand tail eleva

Going to visited the AC today. I’ll keep you all in the loop once I have more info/photos. If anyone has a spare hatch door for a model K I maybe in the market....... think mine is a little unsal

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45 minutes ago, PT20J said:

I wonder what happened? If the latch comes loose, the door should fly open and get bent but stay attached by the hinge.

If the door pops open on the runway and the arm doesn't break you're okay - they often do break. If it pops open in the departure climb under probably a100 kts the arm is going to break and the door swings up against the piano hinge violently - bending the baggage door but staying on. But every door opening in cruise that I have heard, the door gets ripped off completely along the piano hinge line. I know of one that damaged the vertical stab much like the OP's horizontal stab  after it departed  (and 2 others that did no damage after departing) - but this is the first that I have seen or heard stick to the horn of the elevator. 

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1 hour ago, ArtVandelay said:


Not according to the first comment on YouTube.

YGBSM.  You made me look at it.  He did just fine.  Unknown structural damage, aircraft control questionable, and not a whole lot of altitude.  They both walked away from it and they didn’t even cause additional damage to the airplane.  What more do you want?  Yeah, he landed hot.  Luckily he had himself a good field and a tough airplane.  We can and should always learn from these kind of things, so I’m sure there’s stuff that could be done better, but the results were pretty good.  Kept control, didn’t stall, found good field.  Overall, success.

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10 minutes ago, kortopates said:

If the door pops open on the runway and the arm doesn't break you're okay - they often do break. If it pops open in the departure climb under probably a100 kts the arm is going to break and the door swings up against the piano hinge violently - bending the baggage door but staying on. But every door opening in cruise that I have heard, the door gets ripped off completely along the piano hinge line. I know of one that damaged the vertical stab much like the OP's horizontal stab  after it departed  (and 2 others that did no damage after departing) - but this is the first that I have seen or heard stick to the horn of the elevator. 

Thanks for the info. I hadn't heard of these events before. Any idea what causes the doors to come open. There are two latch pins -- seems pretty secure. Is there a common failure mode we should be looking out for?

 

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8 minutes ago, PT20J said:

Thanks for the info. I hadn't heard of these events before. Any idea what causes the doors to come open. There are two latch pins -- seems pretty secure. Is there a common failure mode we should be looking out for?

 

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I always lock mine.  I’m hearing some people don’t?  Is that for a possible egress route?  Would locking prevent some of the door departures?

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1 minute ago, PT20J said:

Thanks for the info. I hadn't heard of these events before. Any idea what causes the doors to come open. There are two latch pins -- seems pretty secure. Is there a common failure mode we should be looking out for?

 

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I wish I could say more definitely. As you know the two striker plates where the rod go into the door frame are steel - secured with a pair of small bolts. The only way the door can open is for the latching handle un-latch so that the rods retract to clear the strikers. When locked they can't possibly do that, which is why years ago after 3 of these occurring  at MAPA PPP's the board adopted the policy that they must be locked before flight. Most of us won't fly with anyone without the door being locked.

I know many are concerned about being trapped inside after an off field landing but I do believe the window can be easily broken by rescue personnel if it can't be kicked out by an injured occupant. But given how these doors can and have been known to depart in flight I think I'd rather keep it locked. Most of us have the emergency release on the door which bypasses the lock as well.   

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@RedSkyFlyer, very glad you and your copilot are well. Great job staying in control and putting it down. I wish you didn’t have to go through this but I’m glad you are safe on the ground talking about it! 
On preflight when my baggage door is closed it is always locked. Locking it adds a level of assurance that it will not unlatch on its own. It can be unlocked and opened from the inside in an emx. Also if I have to put it down in the sticks or in a rough manner I will unlatch the main door before touchdown so it doesn’t jam. 

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Always learning stuff......through my own negligence, I’ve had the baggage door open during a takeoff roll.......never in flight (so far).

Based on what I’m reading here..... I’m seriously considering locking baggage door prior to flight.

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15 minutes ago, MooneyMitch said:

Always learning stuff......through my own negligence, I’ve had the baggage door open during a takeoff roll.......never in flight (so far).

Based on what I’m reading here..... I’m seriously considering locking baggage door prior to flight.

If you’re in good enough shape to crawl back and egress through the Unlocked baggage door after a crash, you’re in good enough shape to have kicked out any of the windows.  I think I’m gonna stick with locking that thing religiously.

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40 minutes ago, Ragsf15e said:

If you’re in good enough shape to crawl back and egress through the Unlocked baggage door after a crash, you’re in good enough shape to have kicked out any of the windows.  I think I’m gonna stick with locking that thing religiously.

Nobody is kicking  out those Mooney windows, they are a lot stronger than they appear.

Also it appears that your emergency latch is missing the cotter pin, and the handle May have opened up, which may have triggered the hatch to open then release. 

79CDE481-F41B-4290-B5E5-5D7E4713FE66.jpeg
 

 

50E702A7-7103-420F-ADA8-4C287C9FC7D4.png

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It's a little hard to visualize the mechanism from the drawing but the lock secures the outside handle while allowing the inside handle to still unlatch the door for emergency egress. The inside handle is supposed to be secured with a hitch pin attached to a lanyard. The plastic cover is to prevent items in the baggage compartment from snagging the lanyard and pulling the hitch pin loose which could allow the door to become unlatched. From the second picture of the incident, it looks like the hitch pin is still engaged and attached to it's lanyard and the inside latch is in the open position and the cover is missing. The hitch pin appears bent as if the latch had been closed over it instead of being inserted after the handle was placed in the closed position. If this were the case, the handle would not be secure. This would not be evident during preflight inspection if the plastic cover were in place.

591727690_Baggagedoor_20200530_0001.thumb.jpg.fd5223a4457be72ba63900055b57c436.jpg

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I think the baggage door exit is used more if the door handle falls off and you are stranded at night at a closed airport!  :-)

Not everyone carries a set of pliers to open the door if the handle breaks. 

Needless to say GREAT JOB OF FLYING!

Tough stabilizer! Can you imagine the force of the impact on the tip?

Edited by cliffy
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Great job well done for keeping calm and getting it on the ground safely with the right action: land as soon as possible !

G-OSUS did well on that one, a solid rocket, always loved that one for it’s sleek shape (new paint?) although it always went U/S when I flown it :lol:

 

5 hours ago, cliffy said:

I think the baggage door exit is used more if the door handle falls off and you are stranded at night at a closed airport!  :-)

A friend told me the same once, him & wife flew to an air-show: pity weather, arrived late, no hotels around, go out they need new ticket for next day....he asked to go to aircraft pick stuff before leaving: went to aircraft put chocks, closed doors, put covers on windshield, went in from baggage door him & Mrs: we no longer existed the airport :ph34r: 

He also used that door to exit the aircraft after an EFATO, he was alone in that one...

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Wow!!!

Nice work, Red Sky!!!

Fantastic airmanship.

Excellent incident reporting.

Thanks for sharing the details.

That is eye opening!

Perfect outcome!

Way to go!

Best regards,

-a-

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Well done! You chose a great landing spot and focused on flying. If I had any bandwidth left at that point, I may have tried to slow a little more before touchdown (less energy to dissipate if things go really bad), kill the mixture, fuel, master, & mags, really tighten your seatbelts, & crack the door open right before touchdown. But, that’s  easy for me to say sitting comfortably at home after the event. Great job! I’m glad you’re both  ok. 

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YGBSM.  You made me look at it.  He did just fine.  Unknown structural damage, aircraft control questionable, and not a whole lot of altitude.  They both walked away from it and they didn’t even cause additional damage to the airplane.  What more do you want?  Yeah, he landed hot.  Luckily he had himself a good field and a tough airplane.  We can and should always learn from these kind of things, so I’m sure there’s stuff that could be done better, but the results were pretty good.  Kept control, didn’t stall, found good field.  Overall, success.

I agree completely, there was a thread over on BT where a guy made an emergency landing, there was some damage to the plane but everyone walked away. There was more than a few Monday quarterbacks, IIRC it was the decision whether to land gear up or down.
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12 hours ago, LANCECASPER said:

Wow! Good job getting on the ground safely and remembering to put the gear down after all of that.

I'm gonna quote myself and explain why I thought putting the gear down was not a given in this situation:

In September 1996 I bought a new Mooney TLS Bravo, and in early summer 1997 a friend needed me to drive him up to catch a commercial flight in Austin TX. No problem, I'll fly you to Austin Mueller (now closed).

He had flown with me many times and knew that hot starts in Texas summers can be tricky. We went over it before we ever left the ground. He was going to exit the airplane, get his bag, shut the baggage door and walk behind the airplane to the FBO for his ride to the terminal while I kept it at idle and didn't have to shut down. We landed, taxied, we went over it again, he exited, got his bag. I got my clearance, taxied, took off and  shortly after take-off I heard a loud bang from the back of the airplane - the baggage door has popped open on my new airplane. I was sure it had probably exited the airframe and had taken the tail section with it. @RedSkyFlyer's pictures are exactly what I was imagining. I let the tower know what happened and that I was coming around to land on the perpendicular runway - all the way picturing what my airplane must look like. I turned final and wanted to get this thing on the ground to assess the damage. On final, a Delta pilot waiting for take-off, who had heard everything, says "Mooney, check your gear down". I got that horrible feeling. I would like to think that I would have made a short-final gumps check, but I'm not sure. After all was said and done after landing and then taxiing to the FBO and looking over the airplane, I closed the baggage door, locked it and there wasn't a scratch or a bend anywhere on the airplane. I had turned a minor distraction into what could have been a major problem. Although I already knew this, after that it really confirmed that gear up landings can happen to anyone - all it takes is something out of the ordinary thrown in the mix. Don't ever say it couldn't happen to you.

Again, great job keeping your calm and getting it down on the ground safely to be able to share this with us. Ever since that flight I always lock the door with the key and give it one last tug just to be sure after loading bags.

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Again, perfect outcome and well done, it is the best outcome one can hope for with no idea on the damage, unless you could call another aircraft to inspect it !

Still not sure about valid reasons to slowdown (slowdown a lot, landing was bit faster on short runway but aircraft was not overshoot for a crash kill)? with mid-air collisions or structural failures, one just fly at speed that make an aircraft happy: fly in controllable fashion with less shaking on yoke, not sure what is new stall speed with back door open? at what speed you would lose up elevator authority with door hanging on it? 

As far as see, with no idea on surfaces damage, this would not be normal 70kts landing to home airport, land as soon as possible with any speed that the aircraft is happy to fly at in a nice patch like the one on the video, you can check damage latter and design a new speed card...

Maybe one would treat it like emergency landing of fuselage and tail full of ice? It is not at 70kts aproach, way more that if the runway permits, if yoke shakes at 90kts or aircraft stalls at 80kts then fly at 100kts and think about the numbers and physics later...

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I installed Medco locks in the baggage door and side door a couple of years ago. For some reason, the baggage door lock will not release the key unless it's in the lock position. So my baggage door is always locked. If it's not, the airplane keys are in the lock and you won't be starting the airplane.

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Nice job, you flew the plane, made a plan and executed the plan. Not much more to be done when you are single pilot. As an aside I will never complain here after about you Britain's using 121.5 too much:)

 

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I learned from Mooneyspace a long time ago to always keep that baggage door locked. In fact, on the ground, I never close it without locking it. It either stays open or gets closed and locked.

Great job keeping it under control and getting it down safely so everyone could walk away. And bonus points for capturing it all on camera and sharing.

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Did you have roll induced and loss of elevator effectiveness? I would think that with asymmetric shadowing of the elevator that you would lose effectiveness and have to compensate for roll with it no longer being inline with the roll axis. 

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