When one door shuts …
When you’re young, life is full of possibilities. The possibilities are limited, of course. I would have never made a good basketball player or long distance runner, for instance. I think I would have made a good heir to a giant industrial dynasty, but that possibility was also not available, sadly.
But then you grow older and have to make choices and “take a path”. And pretty quickly, the possibilities start to diminish. I remember vividly seeing a police recruitment ad one day. It said something like “maximum age 27”. I think I must have been about 28 or 29 at that point. Not that I ever considered becoming a policeman, but it was a very visual example of doors starting to shut around me.
Now I am even older, and ironically in a position where I wish more doors would shut. Because my children have a talent for maximizing the volume of every game they play or device they use. Also, my house is growing old and some doors won’t properly shut all the way without me leaning into them, haha. So, I guess I can somewhat relate to Chuck in this strip!
This strip was a literal LOL for me. Shortly after getting my Private I took a somewhat nervous buddy up for a flight in a C152. Shortly after takeoff while turning crosswind my buddy’s door popped open and the look on his face was priceless. I calmly leaned over, grabbed it and slammed it shut again. I had a lot of practice “re-securing” the door in the old training bird.
Where’s their headsets? Chuck doesn’t look like his proper self without them, at the controls, even if his ubiquitous sunglasses are there allright.
Also, if the nitpicking may be forgiven, shouldn’t Chuck, the instructor, be in the starboard seat, leaving the student pilot in the port seat?
Landis, I’ve had my door on a 152 pop open in flight too, I guess it’s not that rare of an occurrence. Though it doesn’t help that with 2 adult men in them, you are practically pressing on the doors with your shoulders.
Works in 150s too 🙂
A story, not about the door, but the window, still on the 150. We had a student on a solo flight, practising touch & goes, when on landing the window did open. This panicked poor guy that instantly rushed to close the window before he might die. Unfortunately doing that, he took his hand away from the controls, and when the window was closed….he figured out he was not on the runway anymore but in the grass in between. Lucky it’s very flat here and nothing got broken. Except self esteem when the controller asked him what the f**k he was doing
When I did my first 2 touch and goes then come to a complete stop my instructor got out of the 172 and told me what to do when I was on my final for the first time solo I heard a very loud banging from the plane, I put it down rolled off the active and stopped. Instructor came running to ask what was wrong? Got out looked around and he left the seat belt hanging outside the 172!
I used to pop windows on unsuspecting students a few times at all the worst times, give them the an-open-door-on-a-Cessna-won’t-kill-you speech, the works. Was a lot of fun, particularly when the doors would occasionally pop open for real. Admittedly, it was less fun having a door pop open on every other takeoff just after rotation during my solo (post-PPL) training. I found it very funny that it was both routine enough and at the same spot after takeoff that I could and eventually *did* set a watch to it – but such are training aircraft. Ah, bien…
Also, considering that there is a door open or a possibility of it being open, then never mind the headsets – are they wearing any seat belts or harnesses? Because I don’t see any – though if we keep the totally-completely-and-perfectly-legal rolls at 1G, do we really need them?
Many years ago…
I was astudent pilot on my long cross-country from PHNL to PKOA and back in a 150 that Chuck would describe as a Piece of Crap. I noticed on previous flights that the hinges on the pilot door were severely rusty, which I duly reported to the person that took my American Express card after every flight. On this flight, however, over the Pacific between Molokai and O’ahu, there was a “Bang!” The pilot door just disappeared and the remaining flight to the roost was breezy indeed! The FBO tried to charge me for the damage but, pleasantly, the American Express card taker vouched for my having repeatedly reported the rusty hinges in the past.
HA! I find it funny there are so many stories on doors and windows popping open on these Cessnas. I’m relieved it wasn’t just me then, lol.
As you know, most of these comics are not invented.
Had a window pop open on me on takeoff, which didn’t bother be so much but scared my flight instructor. And then the door thing happened almost exactly like in this comic. There seems to be always ‘that one Cessna’ in every flight school that does that. Wouldn’t be surprised if that’s not from slightly bent frames after all these beautiful landings students do to the aircraft….
Had a door pop once when I transitioned from a climb to low cruise (only at 3,500′) at 130kts. Headset went flying, so did my sunglasses, it was violent. Leaned away from the airstream, put on the headset, found my sunglasses, collected myself and called tower that I need to come back and land. They asked whether I need assistance. I told them no, thanked them and added that some idiot forgot to latch my door. Got a chuckle and “clan”.
It happened again a few months later (I was young and did not learn, LOL) but I had a SP with me and felt brave. We put her in a heavy slip to unload the air stream on the door and slammed it shut and latched successfully. Now I know how to easily fix it in flight. But hopefully won’t need it, I have a new laminated checklist that calls for door latched. 🙂
Now, that’s easy on a Cessna. But a friend of mine is in a Bonanza club and that door cannot be latched in flight. Plus since their latch is pretty worn out, you can imagine they’ve had quite a few embarrassing returns to the airport. Dang.