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....