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  #1  
Old 01-18-2021, 05:48 PM
seagull seagull is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: San Bernardino
Posts: 255
Default 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?
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2021, 06:12 PM
abwaldal@gmail.com abwaldal@gmail.com is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Battle Ground WA
Posts: 171
Default 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
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2021, 07:42 PM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by abwaldal@gmail.com View Post
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.
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2021, 08:01 PM
seagull seagull is offline
 
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Default

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.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2021, 08:58 PM
Mich48041 Mich48041 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Riley TWP MI
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Default

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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  #6  
Old 01-19-2021, 04:51 AM
N661DJ N661DJ is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Winter Haven
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Default Canopy opened

I recently had my tip up canopy come open in flight, forgot to close the top latch.
On take off, full power, 800', 120KIAS. I thought I had been hit by a sidewinder missile, the canopy came open about 8".
I immediately grabbed the handle and tried to close it, it would only come down about 4" or so, pulling as hard as I could actually lifting myself out of the seat.
I realized that I needed to pull the power back but only had 2 hands and was reluctant to let go of the canopy handle, didn't know what that might of done, concerned that the canopy might come off and the results would not be good. After a second or two, I decided that my only option was to let go of the stick and pull the power. BAD decision, the airplane did an immediate, hard, nose down and left turn, by the time I had reduced the power and got my hand back on the stick I was at 400' looking straight at the ground. Not a good place to be. After getting the airplane under control, I was able to successfully land on the intersecting runway, mid field from 400' or so altitude.

I am 78 years old been flying for 40 year, several thousand hours of time, mostly in RV's, aside from an incident with ice in a Mooney, this is as close as I have ever come.

I have since sold the airplane and have related this story to the new owner in hopes that he will not make the same mistake. DOUBLE CHECK THE CANOPY LATCH. In closing, This is a fantastic airplane, the problem was with the pilot
not the airplane.

Fly safe,
Dick
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  #7  
Old 01-19-2021, 05:59 AM
BillL BillL is offline
 
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Location: Central IL
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Default They can smell fear . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by abwaldal@gmail.com View Post
Having been a beekeeper for 50 years, they usually don't bother stinging you unless you tick them off with a cap swing.
Art
That's what my Granddaddy told me, as he brushed red wasps off a nest to harvest the grubs for fish bait while I observed in the opposite end of a 12' jon boat. I later had a chance to practice with honey bees. Weird sensation when they cover your hands and arms. Like when a canopy/door pops open, a good time to remain calm.

Yellow jackets and hornets, very territorial unless accepted. Another story.

I put screen inside my air vent scat (7) to avoid issues. Formed the screen over some PVC, inserted and secured with RTV.
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2021, 07:09 AM
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Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillL View Post
I put screen inside my air vent scat (7) to avoid issues. Formed the screen over some PVC, inserted and secured with RTV.
Plenty of openings elsewhere. Airplanes are parked for long periods of time. Suppose a nest gets build in the tail cone and then you close the canopy, yell "clear prop", and fire up the engine?
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Bought Flying RV-12 #120058 Oct 2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 642

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  #9  
Old 01-19-2021, 08:50 AM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
 
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I have had my RV-12 canopy come partially open a couple of times. Pro tip: Remember to fully latch the canopy before takeoff to avoid feeling like an idiot.

In both cases, the canopy latch was under the roll bar, but not latched. The canopy popped open a couple of inches. I had zero success in getting it to close without actually landing the airplane and doing it on the ground.

When the canopy pops open, the frame spreads enough from the air pressure differential that the guide plates on the back end of the frame (C-1206) will not go into the slots in the canopy support rails (F-1254). You can't pull the canopy down enough to latch it. I didn't try extreme slow flight or a sudden pitch down, thinking that I'd rather land and latch the thing than run the risk of looking really stupid in an NTSB report.

You can bet I make it a point now to include a thorough check of the canopy latch state just before doing the run-up.
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2021, 06:15 PM
JDeanda JDeanda is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 221
Default 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.
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