‘We have an emergency’: Door blows off Rochester-based airplane after takeoff from Buffalo

Door Flies Off Plane

The News10NBC Team details breaking News, Traffic and Weather.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – A rear door flew off a small plane in mid-flight. Even though the plane is registered in Rochester, it took off from Buffalo and minutes after takeoff, the door behind the cockpit blew off.

The tail number of the plane is registered to 1205 Scottsville Road, that’s the private side of the Rochester airport.

“We have an emergency. We’re heading back,” radioed the pilot.
A flight tracker shows the plane made an abrupt U-turn and started flying back to Buffalo.

ATC: “Are you able to say the nature of it?”
Pilot: “Uh, we lost our rear door. 568CA.”

Pilot: “We lost our back door.”
ATC: “568CA Roger. Winds calm. You are clear to land any runway. You want 32?”
Pilot: “32.”
ATC: “Roger that. Clear to land 568CA. We did notify the fire department out of caution. We’re going to roll the trucks.”

The plane landed safety and the pilot and passenger were not hurt.

The plane is called a Diamond AD 40. Just over a year ago, General Aviation News reported a case where the plane’s rear door came off. An investigation in Europe counted “more than 30 cases” of a blown-off rear door. In one case, the investigation concluded pilot error finding “The rear door was not closed and secured properly during flight.”

The plane’s checklist puts the rear door as step three before takeoff. “Check closed and locked,” he says.

Monday night, the Buffalo Airport assured the pilot that firefighters were standing by when he landed.

ATC: “The fire department vehicles are coming down. I think they’re just going to check you out wherever you stop there. So just expect them. They’re right behind you.”

The FAA is investigating.

While the plane is registered in Rochester, records show the pilot lives south of Buffalo. Cheektowaga police have been looking for the door of the plane in a park but as of Tuesday afternoon it had not been found.