McMurray Aviation – Cessna 208B – Pod Door Opened In Flight


C-FXCL, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft operated by McMurray Aviation, was conducting a scheduled flight from Fort Chipewyan, AB (CYPY) to Fort McMurray, AB (CYMM) with 1 crew member and 9 passengers on board. While cruising at 5500 feet approximately 25 nm North of CYMM, the pilot noticed a change in sound, accompanied by a noticeable vibration in the aircraft. On approach to CYMM, the pilot requested an expedited landing. ATC asked if the pilot would like ARFF placed on standby, which the pilot agreed to. An uneventful landing was completed and the aircraft taxied to the ramp with no further issues.
A post flight examination revealed that baggage pod door A had opened in flight. It appeared that the latch had been closed on the rubber door seal and not the baggage pod structure as designed. During flight, the rubber seal tore and the door opened, resulting in the change in noise and vibration. No other anomalies were found. As that section of the baggage pod contained no items, nothing was lost from the aircraft.