- diagram of locking mechanism from the service manual

The canopy closing and locking mechanism is complex - lots of interconnected part. Everyone knows this, and there is a technique for closing the canopy.

To close the canopy, side it all the way forward. Then move the canopy securing lever from front to back and then forward to the final locked position. A small red tab (only visible from the left seat) will come out of the lever slot and be visible to confirm that the canopy has been secured..

Jammed canopy closed - Although it is not entirely clear how I managed to jam the canopy closed, there are several contributing factors. I have been in the right seat several times and have seen the canopy closed by the pilot in the left seat. There are a sequence of moves required. On previous flights with me in the left seat, Mary had closed and locked the canopy from the right seat.

On this occasion, the canopy was not closed so I was closing it. I couldn't get it to lock initially. So after several tries with pulling the canopy forward and/or moving the locking level back and forth, the canopy was stuck - jammed closed on the left side with a 1/4 inch crack on the right.

Fortunately we were on ground at the airport and the local A&P was out cutting grass and wonder what we were doing at runway threshold with engine off. He came over and we worked it out.

We handed out the key through the crack on the right side. He tried using the key in the lock - that didn't do anything. He came around and opened the baggage door from the outside and I got out that way. Then the two of us stood on the wings on either side. With some giggling and coordinated effort, we were able to slide the canopy back from the outside.

These may have been contributing factors
  • condition of the canopy rail - straight, free movement, lubrication
  • operation of the canopy - line up of canopy - had been pulled from both sides
  • correct operation of the locking lever - aligned, functional, free moving, locking lever incorrectly positioned during closing

Baggage door as an alternate exit
During an earlier flight in another plane, we talked about emergencies and that I could get out baggage door if necessary. There is a little handle that will open the door from the inside. I took his word for this so I didn't know what I should be looking for or how it worked.
  • It is possible to remove key from baggage door so the inside slide is not accessible. When I tried to get out the baggage door initially, there was no handle or slide visible in the opening in the door. I could feel some stuff in the door, so it may have been possible to push out the slide even though it wasn't in the opening.
  • The door may not have been locked. Don't know if it would have just kicked open.
  • There may be a position where the door is secure but the lock has not been rotated enough for the slide release to be lined up in the opening on the inside of the door.