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Old 05-29-2014, 02:18 AM
ao.frog ao.frog is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Manstad, Norway
Posts: 866
Default Most STUPID mistake of all: closed canopy with no one inside! And problem solved!

A couple of days ago, I made a mistake I've been afraid of doing for YEARS.... I managed to close the tip up canopy with the safety lock in the locked position!

Here's how I did it:
I was installing the Kooger Sunshade and during that process I was opening and closing the canopy several times to check the fit of the shade-channel before installing it for the final time.

I was also turning the safety-lock back and forth during the process to verify that the top end of the handle wouldn't interfer with the channel.

During one of the "canopy-lowerings", the handle was in the locked position and suddenly the canopy went all the way down with a small "thump".... AAARRRGGHHH!!!!!

The lock was now preventing canopy-opening just like it's designed to do, so NOW WHAT???? How do I get the canopy open again...?????

As you can see, the extended tip of the handle is pointing forward. That means that the shorter tip is pointing towards the rollbar. This is the ONLY WAY the handle could be positioned to be able to slide past the roll bar and prevent canopy-opening again.

I gathered some people and we all took a close look at the problem: how to turn the safety handle the required 90* so the canopy could be re-opened?

There's no acess from the top because I've installed a weatherstrip on top of the canopy.

One way could be to go through our homemade hatch on the fwd top deck skin (just in front of the canopy)

Another way could be to drill a small hole in the skin just aft of the aft window.

We could drill a small hole on the canopy itself, just above the safetyhandle. Then a small tool could be used to grab the cotterpin in the handle from above and turn the handle.

Then one guy came up with the ultimate sollution: through the slot in the fuse which are for the primary canopy lock!

He cut and bent a alu-channel which looked like this:

Then it was inserted through the slot in the fuse:

Positoned towards the handle:

Then a little pressure was put on the alu-channel, and suddenly the lock turned! Then it was just to put enough pressure on it to make it turn so it was paralell to the rollbar and voila! The canopy could be opened! PHEW!

That ended 30 mins of pure horror- and disaster-thoughts in my head.... YESSSS!!!!!!

Over the years, I've been thinking how to get back into the cockpit if the safety-handle ever schould inadvertently get locked. This could happen when towing, pushing or transporting the plane over a distance, for example to and from the paintshop, or when moving from home to the airport for final assembly.

To prevent this, I've secured the safetylock in open position with gaffa-tape during such moves.

It has never occured to me that it could happen during normal operation of the canopy, but now I know....

So I want to share this with all of you who have tipup's, just in case you'll ever be as stupid as I was....
Regards Alf Olav Frog / Norway
First RV-7 completed, (bought partly finished from a US-builder) 305 hrs per July 2014, SOLD
Second -7 had first flight Feb 25th 2014. 220 hrs pr July 2019. Life is good!

Last edited by ao.frog : 05-29-2014 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 05-29-2014, 05:59 AM
noelf noelf is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Solomons, MD.
Posts: 1,258

Many years ago, there was a post on this web site with pictures that showed how to trim the UHMW block that holds the "D" handle and add a spring. The result is such that the D handle is spring loaded in the up direction. When the handle is parallel to the roll bar, the handle nests against the canopy bow and can not turn accidentally. To lock the canopy, pull down and twist 90* as normal.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:18 AM
rzbill's Avatar
rzbill rzbill is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,752
Default Here is my version

Here is a link to my version. There are other ways to do it. Like noelf said, there was a flurry of posts about this roughly 5 years ago that caused me to modify mine.

Tip up lock anti-rotation method

Bill Pendergrass
ME/AE '82
RV-7A: Flying since April 15, 2012. 850 hrs
YIO-360-M1B, mags, CS, GRT EX and WS H1s & A/P, Navworx
Unpainted, polished....kinda'... Eyeballin' vinyl really hard.
Yeah. The boss got a Silhouette Cameo 4 Xmas 2019.

Last edited by rzbill : 05-29-2014 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:25 AM
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Kahuna Kahuna is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Gold Hill, NC25
Posts: 2,419

Brilliant access solution.
6A, S8 ,
Gold Hill, NC25
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:30 AM
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olyolson olyolson is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 1,086
Default Closed canopy

I wonder where your buddy learned that trick? I suspect he may be close to my age and remembers how we used to get into our locked cars when the keys were inside, very similar to your predicament. Of course that was back in the day when the locks had little buttons you could grab onto.

In fact, I got a free dinner once from the owner of a Mexican restaurant here in St Louis who was telling me how his car had been sitting in the parking lot all weekend because he locked his keys in it.

Because of my "training" in auto problem solving in high school I was able to get his car open with a coat hangar. You just never know when a previous skill may come in handy building an RV!

RV-8, Aerosport IO-360M1B, MT 3 blade, AFS 5500
RV grin every flight
"Sure is nice to have smart friends"
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:43 AM
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RONSIM RONSIM is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Largo, FL
Posts: 1,071
Default I had worried about the same thing

on my -6A tip-up. I have been looking at going in through the side vents with a couple of "coat-hangers" type of device ------ have not tried it yet.

RV-10 Co-built, maintained, flown (sold)
RV-8A Maintained and flown (Sold)
RV-6A (Sold) Bought and Flying (N177RV), upgrades $$$
IO360, 180HP/CS, AFS 5600T, D10A, G650, G430, G327, ADS-B, VIZ385 AP
Very Happy Contributor
Based at KCLW (Clearwater, FL)
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:23 AM
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paulevans paulevans is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: KCHD/Phoenix
Posts: 7
Default Locked Canopy

Anytime I need to shut the canopy completely, I use either a small Velcro loop of tape (soft part of Velcro facing out) and slide over each tip of canopy lock, or a small rubberband over each tip. Prevents the problem from happening all together. I have woken up in the middle of the night thinking of that problem.
Paul Evans
N383Z - RV7
Phoenix AZ
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:30 AM
cubdriver cubdriver is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 146
Default Locked out

Same thing happened to me 1000 miles away from home on my way to Osh last year. I used a coat hanger which worked perfectly.
Jim Potter - Ramona, CA
RV9A Owner- landed it at Osh on yellow dot
Previous Owner of 1940 J3 Cub
Currently Building RV14a

Once you have tasted flight you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return - Leonardo DaVinci

"There's a big difference between a pilot and an aviator. One is a technician, the other is an artist in love with flight." - Elrey B. Jeppesen
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Old 05-29-2014, 05:17 PM
Bevan Bevan is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: BC
Posts: 1,718
Default Is that built per plans?

How is someone supposed to unlatch the canopy from the outside to rescue the occupants in a case of emergency? I wouldn't think that would pass final inspection. The slider canopy can be opened equally from inside or out. Never looked that closely at a tip-up but they should be the same in terms of rescue, no?
RV7A Flying since 2015
O-360-A1F6 (parallel valve) 180HP
Dual P-mags
Precision F.I. with AP purge valve
Vinyl Wrapped Exterior
Grand Rapids EFIS
Located in western Canada
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:38 AM
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bobmarkert bobmarkert is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 393

Originally Posted by Bevan View Post
How is someone supposed to unlatch the canopy from the outside to rescue the occupants in a case of emergency? I wouldn't think that would pass final inspection. The slider canopy can be opened equally from inside or out. Never looked that closely at a tip-up but they should be the same in terms of rescue, no?
In a situation that requires the occupants to be rescued, the canopy is expendable and easily penetrated
Bob Markert
Littleton, CO KBJC
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