Diversions drain the heck out of you sometimes


Well-Known Member
We took off out of YWG today. The weather wasn't the best. We took off using runway 31. Winds were 290 at 20G35 at the time we took off. Moderate rain. It was my first officers leg, he did a great job. During the takeoff roll we heard a noise getting louder and louder. All systems were functional so I elected to continue. The CRJ commonly has the COM panel left open by ground personnel. This causes an annoying hissing sound, but nonetheless, you can continue. This sound however, much much louder. Passing 180 knots we lost the stall system. We determined that it was not the COM panel, and whatever panel it was, it caused a disruption of airflow over the instruments, causing the stall sys failure. We could not continue, the noise was too loud at 180kts, let alone 250+ at higher altitudes. We elected to return to the field. Well, since ORD had bad weather, we had an alternate filed, so we were full of fuel, and pax. We had to burn some fuel to prevent an overweight landing. Since we had time to burn, we elected to commence a low approach and have the tower verify the panel being open. They couldn't notice anything open so we went around and burned off some fuel for 20 minutes. We eventually landed, taxied back to the gate, had the ramepers close the panel and claim it was closed when they pushed us back(yeah right). Refueled and took off to ORD. Honestly, I was very tired by the time we got to ORD. Luckily, I only had one leg today and was off duty once we got to ORD. In case your wondering, we didn't get any tips. No thank you's either. Sheesh.

Heres a flightaware of our ground track:


Then we finally departed again to ORD:


Much better flight path ehh?
When I worked for QX as a ramper we would have to check the panel, get a hand signal from the CA to do a tactile again and then we would have to come back out and tell them it was secure.

Even with that procedure I would have an aircraft come back every once in awhile when it popped open in flight.
May or may not. I filled out the appropriate paperwork. Off to my bike ride to Laguna Beach. . geez why do all weather girls in LA have fake boobs. sorry watching TV
Before I type anything else, I am in NO WAY questioning your judgment...

We are required to return to field for an open panel. The thinking is it can do damage to the aircraft skin or could be ripped off the plane entirely and sucked into an engine. Charlotte got really bad about leaving panels open so now when ever they open the COM door they put a remove before flight tag on it. Also the push crew is required to give us a thumbs up after they disconnect the tug which means they have closed AND checked the COM door.

I actually had one left open coming out of LGA about a month ago that required a divert to MDT. Turns out not only was the thing open but it had ripped off at the front latch and severely deformed the skin around the panel opening. Also, the only thing that was keeping it attached to the airframe was a single nut and washer assembly.

You can read all about that little joy of an evening here.

</Shameless plug for my blog>
I wish our company was more black and white about it. So far, nothing written anywhere on what do it in this case. It's really left open to the PIC to make the call and then do the carpet dance later if deemed a bad decision.
I read that blog entry a couple days ago. When I read that it was your policy to return to field, it kind of surprised me. We also don't have anything written on what to do in the case of an open COM panel. I've had it left open a couple of times (back on the C gates, haven't had it happen yet on the E gates.. knock on wood). It's annoying as hell in the lower altitudes, but becomes bearable up high. In those two cases I've given the door/panel a little extra attention on the post-flight, but never saw anything out of the ordinary.
I should clarify that statement. It's not actually written policy anywhere, but if you call MX Control over the radio or ARINC they will request you return to field as it is their policy. I think the hope is the pilots just want to get where they are going bad enough to ignore the noise and "discover" the issue once they land. Also, this was the first time I've seen any damage to the panel area after we landed.
mrivc211, diversions do not drain you. You were not drained. The rules prevent you from being drained.