December 24, 2018 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Monday Accidents & Lessons Learned: Forward Baggage Door Opens During Flight

What happened

The following occurred in West Berkshire, England, United Kingdom, near the Compton VOR.

Prior to undertaking a training flight with an instructor, the owner of Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga SP, G-ELLA, completed a preflight inspection. As part of this, he removed the aircraft’s cover and stored it in the forward baggage bay but, during the flight after practicing a stall, the baggage bay door unexpectedly opened. The cover was sucked out of the baggage bay and struck the wing before detaching from the airframe. The baggage bay door remained open in the slipstream, with no control difficulties experienced by the crew, as they returned to White Waltham Airfield where the aircraft landed safely.

The instructor believes that the baggage bay door was not properly secured during the preflight inspection. Other than to the baggage bay door, no other damage was noted, and the aircraft was returned to service once it had been repaired.

Read the Air Accidents Investigation Branch report here.

Circumstances can crop up anywhere at any time if proper and safe sequence and procedures are not planned and followed. We encourage you to learn and use the TapRooT® System to find and fix problems. Attend one of our courses. We offer a basic 2-Day Course and an advanced 5-Day Course. You may also contact us about having a course at your site.

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Accidents, Current Events, Equipment Reliability / Equifactor®, Human Performance, Investigations, Safety
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