Piper PA-38-112, G-BJUR
Whilst preparing for a training flight the instructor asked his student to check the fuel and engine oil levels. The instructor checked the levels himself before boarding the aircraft. Shortly after take-off, there was a bang and the left side engine cowling rose up, partially blocking the view forward. It was apparent that the cowling had struck the lower part of the right hand side of the windscreen, producing a hole several inches across. The instructor subsequently landed the aircraft without further event. The aircraft had left and right side engine cowlings, each mounted on a hinge either side of the aircraft centre line and secured by two ‘butterfly clip’ latches on the lower edges. Both clips were noted to be missing from the left side after landing. Whilst clips have occasionally been reported missing during pre-flight inspections on other aircraft in the fleet, it is possible in this instance that the student, when checking the oil, had initially looked in the left side of the engine compartment (the dipstick and oil filler are in fact located on the right). This raised the possibility that the left cowling may not have been properly secured before the flight.
Piper PA-38-112, G-BJUR 8-05.pdf (56.96 kb)