Preliminary Accident Reports

June 2009 Issue

April 5, 2009, Camarillo, Calif., Liberty XL

At about 1130 Pacific time, the airplane lost the majority of its left side cockpit door during cruise flight. Separated door components impacted and dented the airplane’s left stabilator, causing minor damage. Visual conditions prevailed. Neither the flight instructor (CFI) nor the private pilot was injured. According to the CFI, the airplane was cruising in level flight at about 4000 feet MSL when the left door "popped open" minutes after the airplane entered an area of moderate clear air turbulence. The door separated from the airplane and the CFI took control of the airplane. Despite full power, level flight could not be maintained. The pilots were able to land without further mishap.

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