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-   -   results of opening the canopy in flight (https://vansairforce.net/community/showthread.php?t=191312)

seagull 01-18-2021 05:48 PM

results of opening the canopy in flight
 
background;
Twice I have had a bee in the cockpit. Once one was discovered at 150' altitude on takeoff. A well aimed swat with my ball cap worked. BUT, I had considered opening the canopy slightly to suck him out, hence my question.

I have read about the N212ZF fatality, but that seems more like the pilot got distracted and forgot his first priority was piloting.

Has anyone cracked the canopy open in flight? What was the side effect?

abwaldal@gmail.com 01-18-2021 06:12 PM

To enjoy the breeze
 
Depending on the model of RV you have. If it's a tip up it will pop open about 6". plane will pitch down and you'll have to get as slow as possible to latch it again. Like full flaps and slow flight.
Other than getting any thing loose in the cockpit blown out or around it ain't no big deal
Had mine pop open at 180 6,500' over the mountains. Other than scaring the &@$32 out of me cause I wasn't expecting it. I've taken off with it unlatched also. Went to altitude and closed it. Latches needed adjustment.
Having been a beekeeper for 50 years, they usually don't bother stinging you unless you tick them off with a cap swing.
Art

JDeanda 01-18-2021 06:15 PM

Opening Up
 
You might find plenty on this subject with a search. Short version, sliders mostly seem to want to just slide shut, tip-ups cause severe pitch down control problems. My wife had the canopy come open unexpectedly on our RV-6 tip-up and the airplane lunged for the ground. Her headset went overboard, hanging by the cord. She could not get it latched and landed holding it down, needing three hands and more strength. VERY dicey, highly, highly not recommended.

Piper J3 01-18-2021 06:40 PM

I got swarmed by yellow jackets (31 bites) fifteen years ago and went into anaphylactic shock and almost checked-out. It was a little scary. I was prescribed an EpiPen (epinephrine injection) and told to stab myself in the thigh if ever having a severe reaction.

I got stung again this past summer by a hornet – stung me on the cheek 1” below eye. I was minding my own business and the SOB hornet stung me. My eye swelled shut for a whole day – it really hurt.

So, two things…
  • Yellow jackets, hornets, wasps can sting you for no reason at all.
  • I keep an EpiPen and a can of wasp spray handy in the airplane.

FinnFlyer 01-18-2021 06:54 PM

On the RV-3 the tip-up canopy will open and tear off.

Suspect may be the save with RV-4.

I guess the side-by-sides behave differently.

Finn

Piper J3 01-18-2021 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FinnFlyer (Post 1495445)
On the RV-3 the tip-up canopy will open and tear off.

Suspect may be the save with RV-4.

I guess the side-by-sides behave differently.

Finn

The 3 and 4 models have "tip over" canopy. I can see slip stream tearing them off.

As reported above, "tip up" canopy is not much of a problem. I forgot to latch my canopy once. Don't panic, slow the airplane at altitude and then re-latch.

scrollF4 01-18-2021 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abwaldal@gmail.com (Post 1495433)
Depending on the model of RV you have. If it's a tip up it will pop open about 6". plane will pitch down and you'll have to get as slow as possible to latch it again. Like full flaps and slow flight.
Other than getting any thing loose in the cockpit blown out or around it ain't no big deal
Had mine pop open at 180 6,500' over the mountains. Other than scaring the &@$32 out of me cause I wasn't expecting it. I've taken off with it unlatched also. Went to altitude and closed it. Latches needed adjustment.
Having been a beekeeper for 50 years, they usually don't bother stinging you unless you tick them off with a cap swing.
Art

I also forgot to latch/lock my tip-up canopy for takeoff. I got up to pattern altitude, cinched my lab belt tighter, and pushed the nose over in a very light bunt. That placed more of the air load onto the canopy itself, pushing it down onto the rail. I could then easily latch and lock it.

seagull 01-18-2021 08:01 PM

A search did not provide anything on the -12. I wasn't going to assume what happens to a -7 is the same.

I am only interested in the RV-12 and its tendencies with the canopy unlatched in flight. Every aircraft is different so what may be deadly to a -7 or a -3 may be a complete non issue to a different model.

Piper J3,
You are exactly on point with the reason, I used to react badly to insect stings when I was younger. I don't know now and am not looking to find out. I also don't want to be a test pilot by cracking opening the canopy.

gfb 01-18-2021 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Piper J3 (Post 1495443)
  • I keep an EpiPen and a can of wasp spray handy in the airplane.

I don't know what would happen if you sprayed wasp spray inside your canopy in flight but I can't imagine it would make it easy to keep flying the airplane. That stuff is nasty!

Mich48041 01-18-2021 08:58 PM

I read on Vansairforce about a RV-12 accident caused by a distracted pilot who forgot to latch the canopy prior to takeoff.
The RV-12 hit the runway while the pilot was trying to latch the canopy.
When I neglected to latch the canopy before takeoff, my first reaction was to reach for the canopy.
But then I remembered that accident and put my arm back down and flew the plane.
My RV-12 flew fine with the canopy open, but it was a little windy. :-)
After climbing to a safe altitude and slowing down, I was able to get the canopy half latched.
The handle was under the roll bar at least. I would not try opening the canopy in flight though.
What if you get your fingers pinched between the handle and roll bar?


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