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Thread: Flying With Rear Door Removed

  1. #1

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    Default Flying With Rear Door Removed

    All, I'm not familiar with the STC process, but am interested in removing the passenger door on my '51 22/20-150 for some aerial photography. What do I need to do? Do I need to get an A&P/IA involved, or can I do it on my own? Thanks for the help.

    -Nick

  2. #2
    Zac Weidner's Avatar
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    It is spelled out in the flight manual and I think all you have to do to fly with the door off is carry the flight manual in the airplane. It includes a few different speed limitations and some other information. I don't have it handy at the moment or I could tell you more information about it.
    I would be curious as to how it flies with it removed because we have never done it. I don't know how breezy it would make the cockpit but I think it would be a great way to get pictures.
    The only experience with the door removed was during our ground run. I would have to ask my younger brother what it was like.
    5-12-10 second ground run day (4).jpg
    Although the conditions during flight could be far different from propwash alone.
    Last edited by Zac Weidner; 10-23-2010 at 01:32 PM.

  3. #3
    Jinkers's Avatar
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    I think that you do need an STC. I have an STC for my PA-22/20-150 to take the rear door off but it was done by a previous owner so I don't know what the process is.

  4. #4

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    Here is the [excerpt from the] Type Certificate Data Sheet 1A6 for the PA-22 Series (you're PA-22 has been modified legally to be a taildragger. However, it is STILL a PA-22 and this -and only this- TCDS applies to it. PA22/20 is not an official FAA certificated Piper Model Number, it is only a "colloquialism"), in which "Note 4" speaks to your question:

    NOTE 4. Serial Nos. 22-1 through 22-7999 of Models PA-22, PA-22-135, PA-22-150, and PA-22-160, are eligible to be operated in the Normal Category with the rear door removed in compliance with the pertinent approved Flight Manual. Item 401(aa) for the PA-22; Item 401(ab) for the PA-22-135; Item 401(ac) for the PA-22-150; or Item 401(ad) for the PA-22-160, must be in each aircraft operated in this configuration.
    (a) Airspeed Limits (CAS)
    Vne (never exceed) 128 mph (111 knots)
    Vno (max. structural cruising) 100 mph (87 knots)
    Vp(maneuvering) 100 mph (
    87 knots)
    Vfe (flaps extended) 80 mph (70 knots)
    (b) When the rear door is removed the following placards must be displayed in full view of the pilot:
    (1) "Airplane maneuvers are limited to normal take-offs, climbs, banks not to exceed 30, glides and landings at speeds not in excess of 128 mph."
    (2) "No smoking permitted."
    (c) No baggage may be carried when the aircraft is flown with the rear door removed.
    .....END.....


    If you are in COMPLETE compliance with the requirements IAW this TCDS, you may fly the aircraft with the door removed. There are NO "special requirements" regarding "adding or removing" removeable items listed on the TCDS. However, ANY TIME ANY TYPE of "maintenance" is performed on a certificated aircraft, the Federal Code of Regulations REQUIRES a logbook entry. i.e. "Removed rear door iaw TCDS 1A6 Note 4." and/or "Installed...." along with the name of the person performing such "maintenance" and their appropriate Certificate Number. In the case of a "non-licensed Mechanic that is the Owner/Operator", YOU must do the entry and include your rating (i.e. PPL xxxxxxxx or SEL/MEL/whatever), the date and a/c time and your signature. You do not have to write any more than that (K.I.S.S.) and you do not need to list any "reason" for why you did that. When you do that, you are "certifying" that the aircraft is still being operated iaw it's Type Certificate (and you do not have to "specifically STATE THAT" because that is what your signature does), so do NOT just "take it off of there and go" unless every requirement listed (INCLUDING the proper AFM Supplement) is right there, IN THE AIRPLANE when it is being "operated", because YOU SIGNED THAT IT WAS even if you didn't "use those words". BTW, you ALWAYS must have the AFM in the airplane "when it is being operated" whether the door is removed, or not. The AFM is "Required Equipment" as listed elsewhere in the TCDS!

    SOooooooo, read the "above", take the two scrawny little bolts out of the hinges, and if you have everything listed is the TCDS, go fly your picture mission legally iaw the TCDS. No STC is required for the PA-22 Series airplanes. For OTHER model Pipers (or any other manufacturer), if it isn't LISTED in the TCDS, then a Form 337 Application for Field Approval, an STC, or some other Approved Data WOULD BE required. This is one tiny "notch" above removing the rear seat (for which NO logbook notation is required (don't ask me...I ain't the one what makes these things up!). Easy as pie. Bring yer Beenie.
    Last edited by JohnW; 10-23-2010 at 03:10 PM.

  5. #5
    Student Pilot's Avatar
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    They fly OK with either door removed, it's breezy but if you fly balanced it's not too bad. There is a performance degradation so I doubt I'd be flying at full gross.

  6. #6

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    Thanks, JohnW, for the reply. This leads to two more questions:
    1) Note 4 of the TCDS (item 401aa) requires that a copy of the FAA approved supplement to the AFM is carried in the aircraft--is this something I can find online, or do I have to order it somewhere?
    2) The placard specified in paragraph (b)--can I print out that info and tape it to my panel, or does it have to be a real placard, like the others in the airplane?

    Thanks,
    Nick

  7. #7

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    Nick; You MIGHT find one online, I haven't ever looked for one myself. Chances are good though that someone here may be able to scan a copy of theirs. I can't say absolutely "fer sure" but I BELIEVE these don't have to be "issued to the airplane ('s serial number), since they are all identical, not "ship related" (all the same "Item Number" ones, that is). The "last place", if you can't kick one out from under the bushes, is the "sure place" to source one. Call The New Piper (or is that "Piper Aircraft, Inc"...again?...this week?) and they ABSOLUTELY can re-issue one. There will likely be a nominal (or...maybe a little more than "nominal"?) service charge, but they GOT 'EM. You can actually get (a copy of) the original AFM -THE exact AFM- that was issued to that serial number. Their recordkeeping skills are World Class. But as I say...I think you used to be able to walk into the local Piper Aircraft Corporation Dealer and walk out with one for a dollar, or less. Back when aircraft batteries were about seven bucks...

    There IS NO specification for what the placard must look like. You could write in in view of the pilot with a contrasting (or not!) color Sharpie, or what I've seen most people do (even when there was nothing but a typewriter (ever seen one of THOSE?) and a single sheet of paper Scotch taped to SOMEWHERE, so it could be pulled off when you got the door back on. If they don't tell you what size letters you "must use" or what color or method of attachment, how can you do it "wrong"? Just use they info they "require" and your placard "passes" (that's where THEY deployed K.I.S.S.).

    Now, can someone step up to the plate (in PM would be okay, I'd bet, if someone is afraid to do it in the Forum where OTHERS might benefit) and help out Nick here... apparently with a copy of Item 401(aa)???

  8. #8
    MN_flyer1's Avatar
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    Default PA 22-150 Flight Manual

    If your are speaking to the utility category, the flight manual should contain the supplement. I will attach the manual here.

    Flight Manual PA22-150.PDF Flight Manual PA 22-150

  9. #9

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    Okay, we're cookin' with gas. But, there are differences between a "PA-22" and a "PA-22-150" AFM! The 1951 "PA-22" had the 12 rib wing, a lower gross, a lower flap max operation speed and a lower Red Line (Vne). And...we are NOT speaking about the Utility Category. We're speaking about "flight with the left rear door removed", which if you read the "Note 4" in my earlier Post, ops with the door off are limited to Operations IN THE NORMAL CATEGORY ONLY! MN_flyer1, Your Post is still GREATLY appreciated! Your AFM contains (titled as Supplement No. 5) a sample of the document Nick needs (and in fact may actually BE the exact same piece of paper, but I stress that I do not KNOW that for sure). Nick needs the Airplane Flight Manual for HIS airplane "model", which is spec'd in the Type Certificate Data Sheet as Item 401(aa). The AFM for the -150 model is listed in the TCDS as Item 401(ac).

    I say again...I don't know positively that the Supplement page for ops with rear door removed ARE IN FACT "interchangeable" between the two AFMs. For this very reason, I have included in the earlier Post mentioning that Piper HAS all the correct AFMs for each and every tail number on file, and the surest way (and the way I would do it...) to get the garanteed correct paperwork is to get the "original" AFM from Piper AND make sure it includes the correct Supplement for operating with the door removed when shipped.

    Now there's a LOT of people that could possibly be reading this (altho' MOST of THOSE probably have ME "blocked") that would say "Aw, what does a piece of paper mean? If it's okay to do it, then it won't fall out of the Sky if that piece of paper isn't in the airplane." To THAT, I would say, "Go for it. Hotshot! Be a Test Pilot. Why not try a couple loops with the door off, too? Maybe a few Chandelles. These are great airplanes, what does PIPER know about 'limitations'? They'll hold together well past where the pilot is comfortable." Okay, that may (or may not) be "true". Yet, I do not subscribe to that line of thinking. If Piper wanted "normal takeoffs, banks less than thirty degrees", and whatever other limitations they saw fit to impose, I would like to know EXACTLY what they ARE for "my model of Piper" and if I stay within those limitations I will be reasonably assured I won't be leaving a Widow behind because I thought I was smarter than the Piper Engineering Department. There are a LOT of people out there, positively reinforcing their stupidity in such matters, and while I really feel "so what?", I do not RECOMMEND any way but the correct way of doing things. That's my "disclaimer" and I'm stickin' to it.

  10. #10
    MN_flyer1's Avatar
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    John,

    Thank you for clearing that up. I have read the manual and somehow mis-interpretted that utility category was for flying with the rear door removed. At the time I read it I was not interested in flying in either condition. What is the purpose of "utility category"?

    Nick,

    If you call the New Piper with your Model and SN they will give you the report number. If you have your original AFM it should have the report number on it. As John stated it is a required document / equipment to legally fly your aircraft. You maybe missing some pages over the years. I just ordered mine this summer and scanned into a PDF for future needs such as this. If it is the same number as the one posted above (Report No. 817) then the documentation under "Flight Manual Supplement No. 5" should be applicable.

    Tim

    PS: As John mentioned the year difference, it is very likely that my report does not match yours.
    Last edited by MN_flyer1; 10-24-2010 at 08:02 AM. Reason: PS

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