Features

September 2010 Issue

Open-Door Policy

Flimsy doors and windows are prone to popping open, but we still have to fly the airplane.

The Cessna 150 I first soloed had a time-between-window-openings of about three hours. My instructor and I had suffered the event a couple of times on my way to soloing at—as luck would have it—about nine hours. Sure enough, as I lifted off the runway on my second touch-and-go, the window on the "far" side of the 150’s "cabin" decided it was time I had some fresh air and noise. As if I needed another challenge. What I really needed was three hands: one for the yoke, one for the throttle and one to grab the window latch. Not capable of all three tasks, I climbed away from the runway to what I considered a safe altitude, loosened my death grip on the throttle, reached over, closed the window and latched it. After an otherwise uneventful circuit, I landed to pick up my instructor, who was still laughing. For all I know, he still is.

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Aviation Safety

The monthly journal of risk management and accident prevention, is packed with useful, timely information on basic and advanced technique, accident analysis and, most important, practical articles on how you can develop the judgment that will keep you in the air and out of the NTSB's files.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.