Re: 727 cooper vanes

Date:         05 Sep 97 17:27:23 
From:         Matthew Kranz <>
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Carl Peters, M.D. wrote:
> BAEJS3201 wrote:
> > I recently talked to a mechanic at work and the subject of the Cooper Vane
> > on the 727 aft airstairs came up. He said this has develop after the DP
> > Cooper Hijacking.
> These do exist - I have seen them up close on a TWA 727 at MCI maintenance.
> It is a small vane that mounts on a spring loaded pivot on the fuselage next
> to the aft stairwell door. It normally rests perpendicular to the airflow/aircraft
> longitudinal axis. During takeoff, the airstream deflects the vane 90 degrees,
> which slides the the body of the device across the door margin, thus precluding
> the opening/lowering of the stairs.

Some aircraft (owned by Pan Am, for example) were instead fitted with a
locking device for the bulkhead door. When the aircraft were in flight,
an actuator located on the aft side of the rear bulkhead engaged a pin
which prevented the door from being swung open and thus prevented access
to the stairs.

Some of the airplanes I fly (now cargo haulers) still have this device

Matthew K. Kranz       COMM/Multi/Inst.
Greensboro, NC         Flight Engineer