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How many times has your door opened in flight?


c1tice
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My door has popped open about 5 times in 3 years of 231 ownership. Not a huge deal. Last time after it happened on 3 attempted takeoffs I contacted my mechanic and he came and adjusted it. Now it closes smoothly. He had me take a picture of the latch and I thought it was a cool picture.  

 

 

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Edited by c1tice
misspelling
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My door has opened several times in flight. There is a whole threat about the issue.

In my particular case the reason was that a spring that holds the lower door bolt in place was missing. Once I replaced that spring… done. Check under the video section and you will find a video on the subject.


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It has never "popped open" in flight.  It was not closed properly once.  One thing to watch out for however is sometimes passengers or mechanics will grab the top of the open door and lean on it or push against it when it is open for some reason. A bad gust of wind from behind the plane can wrench the door open hard too.  This can flex the door and the hinges slightly (even bend the hinges some).  If it is leaned upon then the top clamshell will contact before the center striker.  You can probably pull the center strap getting everything flush to close the handle.  But if the top is flexed outward (flexed forward when open from someone pushing/leaning against it when open or bent by a high gust of wind) then the center strike lines up but the clamshell doesn't grab the cone tip in the pic properly - sometimes right on the edge (it is spring loaded so it adjusts to what it is grabbing) - and the suction in flight pulls it open.

Mooney door adjustment is an art - you have to look at any flex in the door, especially the hinges, make sure all the links and springs are lubed, make sure all your gaskets are smooth and properly placed and then adjust the cone tip length that contacts the clamshell

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Mine is prone to pop open routinely, and its been that way as long as I've had the plane. Three different A&Ps with knowledge of the mechanism on the vintage planes have worked on it on my '68C.  It is not trivial to get working right. The only thing that clearly helped was putting fresh tight new seals on the door.  As those have softened over the years, the handle will come up slightly now with the vibration of starting the engine. If one ignores this, the door will pop open during takeoff.  It's part of my final before takeoff flow now with the takeoff clearance - door handle down, mixture full, boost pump on....

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Mooney has a very good latching system with two separate positive latches and an over center actuating mechanism. I don't think it is possible to come open in flight if nothing is broken and it is adjusted correctly. Also, the door has a very long and sturdy piano hinge and the skins are heat treated after forming and it's difficult (but not impossible) to spring it. 

Now the doors on a Beech Duchess are a entirely different story.

Skip

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I have had it pop open a few times early in my ownership experience. Usually when in turbulence or flying through clouds with obvious pressure differentials.  I have not had it pop open since latching it swiftly and firmly in a smooth forward motion.  What I was originally doing was a slower latching push on the lever and it must not have been engaging correctly.  When the door was popping open the latch also was popping backward. This is not at all scientific but certainly solved the issue for me. :)

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In My M20C prior to MS…. Cabin door.

In My M20R post MS… baggage door.

New checklist procedures for PIC only kind of things… :)

Doors are either fully open, or fully closed…

Some doors are more reliable than others…

 

The test usually occurs at rotation… the attitude change makes the difference….

a wind storm can occur, causing all those old paper plates to go flying around… it sounds a lot like a young mid-west girl calling for a friend… aunty-m, aunty-m…. :)
 

The surprise goes away quickly, when the same voice keeps repeating… fly the plane, fly the plane, fly the plane….

At traffic pattern speeds, everything works as expected…   Having a baggage door open in cruise flight… a completely different story…

PP thoughts only, not a CFI…

Best regards,

-a-

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I had a recollection of mine popping, but that's not what actually happened. Mine has never popped in 20 years but I did close the passenger belt in it once...  I found out how easy it is to open and close in flight. The baggage and oil door however have both "popped" a few times which is to say that they were not properly secured by the dipshit in the left seat.

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On 1/23/2023 at 6:34 PM, 201er said:

Only twice when passengers closed it (that should have known better). Never since I stopped allowing anyone else from closing it!

Same here, all occurred when I let the passenger close the door. I just reach across them and make sure it is closed correctly now. They almost never get the top latch in. I don't care if I have to touch their gut or boobs or whatever, better than having it pop open on takeoff and having to come back around.

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Closing the door from the right seat is a bit awkward…

There was no ergonomics when that door was designed…

More awkward when you are used to closing it from the left seat, but now you are sitting in the right seat…

:)

Best regards,

-a-

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