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  #1  
Old 06-21-2022, 08:34 PM
jamo002 jamo002 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Carrollton GA
Posts: 3
Default Canopy locked indicator light

Please excuse me if this has already been covered in the Forum. I recently purchased a factory built RV-12. I've flying since 1978, but I'm not immune to mistakes. With the unseasonably hot, humid weather in Georgia this spring I've been taxiing with the canopy about 2" open, resting on the closed latch. An instructor friend of mine recently commented that taking off with a canopy unlatched is the primary cause of fatalities in an RV 12 and suggested that if I plan to keep doing this I should invest in adding a canopy lock indicator light. I think that's a great idea. Can any of you tell me if there is a system designed to be used with an RV 12, and where can I purchase it?
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2022, 08:46 PM
DaveWelch DaveWelch is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 484
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I’m not sure about the “primary cause of fatalities” but I haven’t followed the numbers. There is a Canopy Latch sensor (micro switch) and red/green lamp on my Dynon screen. The system also gives an audio alert when RPMs exceed 4000 if the canopy isn’t latched. The mod was made available to builders and Vans encouraged us LLC to install it. I’ll defer to the experts about how you get it installed on an SLSA.
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2022, 08:50 PM
DaveWelch DaveWelch is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 484
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One more thing, there is also a mod which secures the hatch from coming open while resting on the latch bar. The latch handle clips into a tab which gets installed in the forward face of the roll bar.
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  #4  
Old 06-22-2022, 01:50 AM
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Gagarin737 Gagarin737 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 677
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Information about the canopy latch & canopy operation found in the RV-12 Notifications and Letters ;

N 14-05-22 Canopy Latch Safety Switch

N 16-10-03 Canopy Catch Option

SL 16-11-04 Tip-Up Canopy Operation

N 17-12-08 Canopy Latch Upgrade
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2022, 06:19 AM
PilotBrent PilotBrent is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hackettstown, NJ
Posts: 523
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These mods are very worthwhile to do.

As for the canopy popping open as a potential cause of fatalities??? Aerodynamics are barely affected. If there are accidents and potential fatalities, it is virtually always pilot error. Unlatched doors on Cessnas donít crash planes, the pilotís overreaction may. I encourage you to educate your instructor.
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  #6  
Old 06-22-2022, 08:21 AM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is online now
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Wichita KS
Posts: 899
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotBrent View Post
These mods are very worthwhile to do.

As for the canopy popping open as a potential cause of fatalities??? Aerodynamics are barely affected. If there are accidents and potential fatalities, it is virtually always pilot error. Unlatched doors on Cessnas don’t crash planes, the pilot’s overreaction may. I encourage you to educate your instructor.
Unlatched doors in Cessnas don't crash planes, but this isn't a Cessna.

It's been widely reported that an unlatched tipup canopy on the various Vans models sometimes causes a significant nose down pitching moment. depending on a number of factors. I've never flown an rv12, so are you saying that's not the case?
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  #7  
Old 06-22-2022, 09:34 AM
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rcarsey rcarsey is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Brunswick, NJ
Posts: 343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo002 View Post
...commented that taking off with a canopy unlatched is the primary cause of fatalities in an RV 12...
Out of the 6 I was able to find at NTSB:
  1. Canopy
  2. Exceeding op limits / health issues
  3. Engine problem on takeoff
  4. Canopy (possible incorrect installation of retrofit kit); Dynon D-180 without warning system
  5. Unknown yet
  6. Probably flight into IMC.

I suppose if you're wanting to fix ONE thing on the plane to avert a possible problem down the road.. sure, perform all the Canopy Latch notices/fixes. If you have the D-180 system, maybe even go as far as rigging up a buzzer to a microswitch.. or get into the habit of moving a placard every time you open the canopy. For example, a streamer with a suction cup that is either attached to the handle, or stuck to your EFIS screen as a warning.

I don't think its an automatic crash if it pops open.. but there is a startle factor to deal with, and a controllability/pitch-down problem to deal with.
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  #8  
Old 06-22-2022, 10:43 AM
almarsh almarsh is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: grain valley mo
Posts: 276
Default Inflight canopy open

I departed field climb to 2000 ft when i transistion from climb to level flight canopy was showing signs of coming open so reached overhead to secure it know at level flight the canopy was really wanting to open all the while my right hand was trying to close really lot of force to keep it from opening about 3inches open pulled power back with left hand, made tower freq switch 1.5 miles away from tower airport asked for immediate landing, was cleared for 36 but option of any runway. With rt hand holding canopy latch still on short final canopy was coming more to close position yes flying with left hand only making power adjustments with left hand just over numbers into flare the canopy came closed twisted overhead latch all was then locked up. Whee what a adrenaline rush. Conclusion is go to slow flight at altitude until the canopy loses its lift due to speed then canopy will settle to close position.
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2022, 11:59 AM
PilotBrent PilotBrent is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hackettstown, NJ
Posts: 523
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[IMG]IMG_1730 by Brent Connelly, on Flickr[/IMG]
[IMG]IMG_1729 by Brent Connelly, on Flickr[/IMG]

Have had only one experience with open RV-12 canopy during flight. Passenger didn't fully close latch in our haste to roll onto runway at KOSH (I failed to supervise). All was good until climbing off shore over lake Michigan, when it popped open and jammed in partially open position. Startled the *** out of me, but had no noticeable effect on flight controls. Uneventful landing. Found that in normal flight, air pressure prevents one from pulling it closed. If it is open, or pops open in flight, ignore it, it won't open very much due to air flow and just fly the plane.

The above clips are great for ground taxing but might lull one into complacency in not checking that canopy is properly latched for takeoff.
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2022, 01:03 PM
NinerBikes NinerBikes is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granada Hills
Posts: 1,257
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Latch canopy should be on your pre flight checklist, right before run up to 4000 rpm to check functionality of both ignition systems.
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