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  #1  
Old 09-01-2018, 08:16 PM
RogerH RogerH is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 18
Default RV-4 Canopy Conundrum

Long story short, I need some advice, input, help on replacing a canopy & frame.

I recently purchased Oly Olson's RV-4, successfully ferried it from St. Louis to SLC, UT with no issues, thoroughly enjoying the aircraft and it's capabilities along the way.

Yesterday 45 minutes into my first local flight, I hit a pretty substantial bit of turbulence and within about 30 seconds the canopy decided to detach and departed the plane, along with the canopy my glasses and headset also departed. Fortunately I was just 4-5 miles from my home airport at the time, NORDO, but squawked 7700, the training kicked in, and I got the plane on the runway without further damage.

I've advised the County Sheriff, airport personnel, fellow pilots, etc hoping the canopy, frame, and a Go-Pro camera are recovered...should make for some interesting video.

In the event, the original is lost for good, any chance someone might have a spare canopy frame & canopy for sale? I'm a pilot, not a builder so if that question is on the dumb-side, please be gentle...my hearing isn't quite what it was prior to the canopy departure.
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2018, 09:09 PM
rv7charlie rv7charlie is offline
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pocahontas MS
Posts: 3,141
Default

Bummer. Glad you're OK, though. Don't give up on finding it. A friend once had a canopy depart a One Design; found it in a field, undamaged. One of my neighbors has an undamaged canopy off a Soviet fighter that someone found in his field.
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2018, 09:48 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,586
Default

Ditto on not giving up. I know an RV-4 builder who lost his canopy, found it, and reused the frame with a new bubble.

Dave
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2018, 11:36 PM
RV-4 RV-4 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: St-Jerome,Quebec,Canada
Posts: 1,018
Thumbs up RV-4 CANOPY

''I hit a pretty substantial bit of turbulence ''

WOW, substantial it must have been, good job on getting the aircraft back on the ground..

Hoping you find your canopy and frame in one piece as I believe Oly had a Todd's dark canopy on his (yours) -4 and they are no longer available as far as I know.

I have 2 spare canopy frame in my hangar but it will be way too expensive to ship one to SLT.

Best of luck

Bruno
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2018 Due paid gladly
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2018, 10:04 AM
Icarus Icarus is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 263
Default Yikes

Glad you are safe. As you get some time to think about what happened feel free to share if anything new details/updates come to mind.

Cost wise, this might be worth an insurance claim, no?

Sorry it happened, but glad you are safe.
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Washington DC
Former Airport Bum
RV-4 / PA28-180
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2018, 10:29 AM
rmarshall234 rmarshall234 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 117
Default

Very nice job dealing with the emergency. Glad you and the a/c are safe.


One question please... there was a discussion here awhile back about whether a departing canopy would damage the tail. Was there any damage to the tail in your case? Horizontal or vertical? Did it even contact the tail?

Again, nice job! Since the 4s are primarily tilt-over canopies, I imagine this left you with no windscreen protection whatsoever. And, with your glasses gone possibly diminished eyesight as well. A true emergency.
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2018, 10:40 AM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,586
Default Todd's Canopies Available from AeroCanopy.com

The canopies Todd made are now being made by AeroCanopy. You can get them direct or via Spruce.

Dave
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2018, 11:49 PM
RV-4 RV-4 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: St-Jerome,Quebec,Canada
Posts: 1,018
Thumbs up Dark Canopy

Thanks Dave

Good to know if I ever (Hope not) need another one...

Bruno
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2018, 08:55 AM
Michael Henning Michael Henning is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 486
Default

Roger,
Was it the rivets holding the hinge to fuselage that failed?
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RV-4 #2750
N654ML
IO-360
WW150C Prop
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2018, 09:34 AM
RogerH RogerH is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 18
Default

Unfortunately the canopy did hit the right horizontal stabilizer causing a dent on the leading edge. It's not creased so I'm hoping I can pull it out rather than have to replace the sheet metal.

As to the failure mechanism, hopefully the assembly is located and there will clear sign of what happened; however, even then I may never know exactly. It was about 45 minutes into a local flight to another airport, 3-4 touch & go's and cruising about 1,000ft AGL fortunately close to my home airport when it released. I had just a few moments earlier hit some pretty rough turbulence so I'm speculating that may have been a contributing factor. The release happened incredibly fast. It peeled the rivets on the right side and the hinged arm that locks when the canopy is upright clean off.

It's hard to overstate the impact of going from a steady-state flying to the unprotected blast of air that resulted. It's quite a shock and now several days later I'm still dealing with the effects on my hearing.

I'll be following up with Van's and canopy sources tomorrow to see what my options are. I have zero experience in airplane building so needless to say I'm worried how long & what it's going to take to return to an airworthy state.

Additionally there is the lingering concern that without a clear understanding of how this happened all the repair effort could be for naught if it is a recurring event. A more secure method of locking that doesn't compromise safety in case of an emergency would be good. I understand how others have experienced similar situations on take-off but it seems odd it would have taken 45 minutes to release like it did ???????

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the performance of the RV-4 during my brief time flying it but this has been a hard introduction to the world of Experimental aircraft.
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