Print version: Double-check your helicopter doors! [PDF 767 KB]

Issued 13 December 2019

An increasing number of reports have been received relating to helicopter doors opening inflight, across a number of helicopter makes and models.

A recent occurrence on an AS350, where the rear quarter door opened inflight causing damage, highlights the significant risk this can present to safe operations.

Pilots and crews (including anyone responsible for loading/unloading passengers or equipment) must ensure that all doors and hatches are securely fastened.

It is possible that doors may appear closed and latched, even though the latching mechanism has not fully engaged. Airflow, vibration, clothing or equipment may cause the door to ‘pop’ open during flight.

When closing the doors it is vital to check and confirm that they are secure. Passengers should be briefed to keep their clothing and equipment clear of door latches inflight.

While the PIC is ultimately responsible, everyone contributes to continued safe operations and this includes ensuring that all doors and hatches are closed and secure before take-off.