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| | |-+  Cessna 172 aborts takeoff at DSM: audio + cockpit video
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Author Topic: Cessna 172 aborts takeoff at DSM: audio + cockpit video  (Read 11325 times)
Chadan
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« on: August 10, 2011, 03:14:53 PM »

At the risk of being admonished for taking my hands from the controls (I can hear it already - "FLY THE PLANE, DUMMY!!!"), here's a clip of me trying to close a door at the start of my takeoff roll at DSM. This is related to ATC because I was able to record some of the audio communications via a handheld scanner next to the video camera:
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SQWK7700
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 06:02:13 PM »

Aborting the take off was the right thing to do. However,  aviate, navigate, communicate....and fix stuff like doors is a long way down the list. Those C152 door are notorious for not closing properly, had them open in flight a few times.
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NoMad
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011, 09:18:34 PM »

At the risk of being admonished for taking my hands from the controls (I can hear it already - "FLY THE PLANE, DUMMY!!!")

Well its deserved admonishment.  You didn't just take your hands off the controls.  You were looking away from the runway leaning over the right seat futzing with the door with the plane moving down the runway at full power.  Then again with power reduced and still rolling.  I can't fathom why you would even put such a stupid move on the internet to begin with.
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Chadan
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2011, 11:20:50 PM »

NoMad - It's called learning from other people's mistakes. I thought it was a worthwhile experience to share. I don't claim to be perfect but I also don't think my judgement was poor. Preach all you like - I'm fine with my actions.
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BigSky
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 04:18:32 PM »

Thank you for posting...it is helpful to review other people's unusual encounters.

Are you saying, though, that you wouldn't change how you handled it?
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-Colin
Chadan
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 05:37:12 PM »

Hi BigSky. Glad you enjoyed the video. I can't say if I'd handle it exactly the same unless it happens again! I can say that I don't regret how I handled the situation, and felt 100% confident that I did not extend myself beyond my ability to manage the airplane.

To expand on that, keep in mind this was on a lazy Sunday afternoon in the Midwest on a runway twice as wide as any I'd ever seen, with ATC closely monitoring all traffic's every move. At no time was I concerned that I might veer off the runway.

It happened four seconds into my roll so my groundspeed was quite slow, and I was stabilizing the aircraft with the rudder and continued to throughout. Before removing my hands from the controls I decided that I could spare a couple of seconds to close the door, and if unsuccessful I would immediately abort the takeoff. The doors on this Cessna behave very predictably and when the latch mechanism is lifted high and the door is pulled closed they latch easily. But in this case an object prevented it from closing. When the first effort failed I aborted immediately, pulled the throttle, continued to stabilize the aircraft, and then contacted ATC.

And I'm still here to talk about it.  grin
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Walters
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 06:36:02 PM »

looked like a perfectly controlled situation to me. great learning experience..and ive flown a small plane into DSM before that runway is HUUUUUGGGGGEEEE in a single
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Chadan
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 06:49:37 PM »

Thanks Walters. It's good to know others are able to understand the video the way it felt to me. And yes, it's an enormous runway!
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NoMad
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2011, 07:30:19 PM »

...and I was stabilizing the aircraft with the rudder and continued to throughout.
Really?  While not looking out the window?

I maintain my opinion that this was incredibly bad judgement on a number of fronts.  Glad you're not at my field.
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Chadan
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 07:34:37 PM »

Glad you're not at my field.
I knew we'd find something to agree on!
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Chadan
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2011, 07:09:25 AM »

Glad you're not at my field.
I knew we'd find something to agree on!
My reason is because you're obviously a dangerous pilot.  What's your reason?  I'm mean?

I've noticed you seem very quick to judge others, NoMad. Are you the type of person that thinks people are easy to understand? Or do you think your life experiences grant you exclusive knowledge of other's situations?

More to the point, do you think a person is incapable of understanding a system well enough to know when said system requires 100% of their attention vs., say, 80%? I agree that the takeoff roll requires careful focus, but I am also clear that there are a few seconds where steady rudder input is all that necessary to fully control this plane.

In the video I count two-and-a-half... maybe three seconds of distraction with the door, which was broken up by a glance back to centerline. (To address your previous concern: yes, I was looking at the centerline while futzing with the door.) Before, during, and after the door incident I was applying input to the rudder to maintain coordinated roll. The throttle on this plane has a well-adjusted friction-stop and there was no crosswind necessitating aileron input.

As I've said, I don't know if I'd handle it exactly the same way if it happens again. But I did not, even for an instant believe that I put myself, my plane, or any other person or property in peril. These are things that every adult needs to be cognizant of and I do not believe I failed in that responsibility. You are free to sit back and criticize from the other side of your monitor but I challenge that you cannot possibly have the awareness or knowledge with the level of detail about this situation that I as the pilot had, and I take offense to being called 'dangerous' based solely on your armchair observation.
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ogogog
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« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2011, 10:23:09 AM »

iam not here to beat you up . what i find most disturbing is not what you did as much as you trying to justify you actions. just because you got away with it this time you thinks its no problem...........but it is plain and simple. as pilots we have all made mistakes but trying to defend the indefensible will just get you killed some day. you even say your not sure if you would handle it the exact same way if it happened showes that you really havent learned from this lesson.its ok to be wrong as long as you not only learn but admit you were wrong, you cant say well yea i made a mistake BUT, there is no BUT you broke the cardinal rule of flying by takeing your hand off the controls during takeoff for a friggen open door end of story. remember your the one that put your self in the public eye on the net.


OG
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Chadan
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2011, 11:09:37 AM »

Fair enough. I did get away with it this time and you've given me something to think about. Thanks for sharing your sensible comments OG.
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Biff
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2011, 11:54:24 AM »

There's a reason Cessnas are one of, if not the, most popular training aircraft in the world - they're very forgiving.  They're a great place to make mistakes and get away with it.  The important thing is that we recognize our mistakes as such and learn from them.   A high performance or tail-dragger won't be as forgiving in that same situation.  Don't develop a false sense of confidence and bad habits that will come back to bite you later.

AOPA has some excellent information on the topic of doors popping open:

Quote
If a door opens in flight, particularly on takeoff, ignore it! Fly the airplane. Stay in the pattern, and then land and close the door (it would be prudent to determine why the door opened before taking off again). If, for some reason you can't return and land, depart the pattern normally, get into straight and level flight at a safe altitude and check traffic. Then think about closing the door. Even at altitude, this can be hazardous because of the distraction and inadvertent control movement caused by reaching around or across the cockpit, especially if your vision is diverted.
(emphasis mine)

Read the full article.  Knowledge is your #1 safety tool.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 11:58:47 AM by Biff » Logged

ridejumpfly
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2011, 03:57:44 PM »

You came to the right decision to abort but a little behind the curve.  Like you said it happened early in the roll and you weren't even going that fast.  With the runway as long as it is you should have just aborted as soon as you recognized the door opening.  You take a second to call the abort to the tower, get it closed while stopped on the runway, then tell them your ready again.  The short amount of time this would take would rarely have the outcome of having to exit the runway.  Like others have said this exact situation has ended in many deaths.  It only takes a second for an animal to enter the runway or a vehicle/aircraft enter right infront of you.  Never rely on ATC to catch a runway incursion. With eyes inside things can end horribly.  Always fly like the feds are in the right seat for a checkride.  The actions you took would probably end in a failure.  Not trying to be mean and I hope you don't take it that way.   
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