NTSB Identification: CEN11LA077
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in St. Cloud, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/27/2011
Aircraft: Halbrook Rans S-6S, registration: N280JH
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that while practicing touch-and-go landings he noticed that the nut from the forward door hinge of the left cabin door was missing. He decided to make a full stop landing to inspect further. During final approach, the door separated from the fuselage; the pilot was able to complete the landing without further incident. A postaccident examination confirmed that the forward door hinge bolt/nut assembly had backed-off during flight, which precipitated the door separating from the airplane.

The airplane kit manufacturer guidance indicated that a shear stop nut was to be used in the gull-wing (upward opening) door hinge assemblies. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advises (in Advisory Circular 43.13-1B) that self-locking nuts, such as the type used on the accident airplane door, are not recommended for use on parts subject to rotation. The FAA further advises that the use of self-locking castellated nuts with cotter pins or lockwire is a more suitable method to secure rotating parts. According to the kit manufacturer, the accident flight was the first documented instance where a door separated during flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The airplane kit manufacturer’s recommended use of an improper nut type for securing the door hinge.

Full narrative available

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