CANOPY UN­LOCKED

Pilot - - SAFETY MATTERS -

Shortly af­ter take­off from Sher­burn-in-el­met the Aero AT-3R100’S pi­lot no­ticed that the front-hinged canopy had started to open on the right side. He at­tempted to re­seat it while con­tin­u­ing the cir­cuit with the in­ten­tion of land­ing. At 1,000ft the canopy lifted by 10-12in and the pi­lot was con­cerned that it would open fur­ther, af­fect­ing the air­craft’s han­dling. There was also a great in­crease in wind and noise within the cabin and the air­craft be­gan to de­scend, so he held on to the canopy and de­cided to land im­me­di­ately in a field ahead. Dur­ing the land­ing roll the air­craft over­turned, re­sult­ing in dam­age beyond eco­nomic re­pair and caus­ing mi­nor in­juries to the pi­lot. A sim­i­lar ac­ci­dent oc­curred to an­other Aero AT-3 R100, the AAIB re­port on which com­mented, ‘The Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity and the Light Air­craft As­so­ci­a­tion will be pub­lish­ing ar­ti­cles in their pub­lic jour­nals and urg­ing care in both the op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance of the lock­ing mechanism and alert­ing pilots to the need for a thor­ough un­der­stand­ing of the lock­ing mech­a­nisms and a dou­ble-check that the locks are se­cure be­fore flight.’

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