SR20 door opens during flight!

Thanks for the quick reply, apologies for all the typos was in a bit of a rush. DonÂ’t have any photos of particular aircraft but the link below is exactly the same as what happened.

Door popped in straight & level flight, was about 3 min into cruise with autopilot engaged, door moved out & back, heard wind rushing noise but couldnÂ’t see any gap. I would hate to think what may have happened if the top hinge gave way also.

Have you heard of many of these types of failures as the flying school is claiming I must have closed the door incorrectly. I donÂ’t really know how you could close a door wrong (short of jumping on it), itÂ’s closed & latched or it isnÂ’t.

During my training the instructor did say to me that the pilots door of this ac had always been harder to close, I donÂ’t know if this would have been a long time contributing factor to the failure.

I am also unsure if the door was fixed before the instructor flew it back. Besides the obvious safety considerations & risk involved in flying an aircraft in that state part of any take of check list (for me at least) is hatches secure.

I hope they see sense IÂ’m not too keen on paying for their hours, I honestly canÂ’t see how any of our actions could have managed to break what looked like a very strong part.

Thanks again for your help mate



I get a sense in reading your post, that you are asking 3 very different questions.
1)Did I do something wrong?
2)Was it safe to fly in that condition?
3) Why do I have to pay for it?

The door is one of the most common problems in the Cirrus.
Some are easier to close than others. Many, including me have had a door pop open in flight; few have had door hinges break in flight.

When the door pops open because the pins were not properly set in, it only opens inches. Flying is no problem, albiet noisy and a bit scary. The door cannot be opened in flight.

Conversly, if a hinge broke, that’s a whole 'nother story.
Were the door to break off in flight, it might hit the tail, and well anything can happen.

You certainly did the prudent thing. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else would do.

Your third question goes to your responsibility for the damaged aircraft, it’s cause, and the consequences of the event.
That is a combination of a legal question of proof and a customer relations question as to the flight schools policy and judgment if they want to keep a customer and accept some responsibility, either because of a pre-existing condition of the aircraft, or not proprely informing you of a door problem.

In any case, and certainly as a new pilot, never fly when you don’t feel good about some condition of the aircraft.


It looks like Dennis covered the question. Good luck again with the flight school settlement.

For clarification purposes, the similar photo you referenced at this link: is not a G2 style door.

Good decision to take ground transportation.

Thanks for your help mate; yeah those 3 questions are pretty much it.
My original thought during fight was the door had just popped & would just need to land & close it again but when it moved away from the fuselage when I opened it that plan felt though (hehe). I will inform the school of the issues with the cirrus doors in general, they didnÂ’t seem to know anything about any existing problems when I showed them the pic in my 2nd post.

They seem pretty stubborn at the moment for me to pay for all costs, one can only hope.

Thank you again

I would ask if you flight school has ever heard of COPA as well. If they have not, log them on using your ID. If you think that there is a wealth of information on the public side, they spend the 50 US and show them all the door issues on the members side. I am sure a call to/from Mike Glazer might also help. With all the planes in the UK they have had to see door Problems before. I have owned two planes and had door problems with both. I doubt you broke the hinge, but you did the best thing you could have. LAND the plane is even better than fly the plane. Sort out the mess on the ground. The view is better down there if you have a problem. You passed your first pilot test.