i was on a flight earlier this year with a fellow student (i myself a student as well) , the route was from palmerston north to ardmore via taumarnui, hamilton. then return through through waikato plains down to tauop, dessert road then through to palmy. we got ardmore around 12:30pm and wished to back around before 4pm as a friend of mine had a drivers license test to do and he needed my car. so i flew up to ardmore with no problems except abit of cloud doging on the way up as can be expected around the te kuiti area.
i was comfortable with ardmore area, airspace and traffic as i had previosuly flown there for a year before starting training at massey. so there was no problems for me, however after planning for return trip. from the point of getting into the aircraft, things were about to go somewhat lop-sided. we shut the hatch and were already somewhat running late on getting back. the pilot in command who was my other class mate, started his taxi, the first thing i did wrong was shut the door without securing my shoulder harness on, i said i was "going to put it on before the line up". as we taxied out to the run up area, it was a prefectly sunny way in which all the training schools were out and the run up area littered with about 6 aircraft in a line running up in some orderly fashion. as my mate was new to this aerodrome he had no idea what to do. I myself had no idea either, as this was somehting new that i never seen in my time before. so we found our own bit of turf to run up on. i didnt know this but it had made the PIC nervious and ended up being a a rush of a run up and pre take off check, as he just wanted to get out of there ASAP, in doing this quite fast, i had overlooked my shoulder harness being secured and i called "secured" when he asked for "hatches and harnessesd". he lined up onto the runway, already nervious at the ammount of traffic and started his take off roll, he rotated the aircraft and their suddenly became a large knocking sound on the airframe.
you guessed it, it was my shoulder harness that was not secured, i had shut the door with the harness strap left hanging outside. when asked what it was, i told the pic it was my shoulder harness, a couple of expeltives came out but lo and behold infront of him was a aircraft, who was simulating an EFATO, this caused the pilot to be further stressed with the banging sound and not being familiar with the airport surroundings and operations. luckily i helped him out with the aircraft simulating but the banging sound stopped. the result of this rush, was the metal buckle of the shoulder harness making it way up to the corner of the right side, rear widow, and blowing a hole in purspex window where the buckle became wedged. once we reliased what had happen, i assured the pilot that we are unpressurised and that all its going to expierence is abit of extra air conditioning. (which was needed for that day, as the vents were not adaquate). we continued on our journey south of ardmore in which once we were clear ot the area, we cunducted the door decuring procedure from the QRH and retrive the buckle and continue flying back to palmerston north unevenful.
moral of this story - first would be don;t fly with me :P, no but really it is a lesson that we are always warned about in our studies and take for granted when you have been flying long enough. this is not to rush things, no matter how routine or how simple it is, it will catch u out one day. and this day it did. we were stressed about the new enviroment we were in, the ammount of traffic, the fast pace of the operations in and out of ardmore, put us in abit of a shock and awe on the ground which made us in the end hurry just to get to the saftey of the air in which we could get away from it all so we can get home. i did take responsability about what happened with my shoulder harness but the pic who to this day will never fly with me again(jokingly :D), did get copped as well for not visually checking and somewhat rushing the pre-take off checks. so in the end do not rush your checks, and also when operating in a new enviroment or aerdrome that is unfamilillar i should have taken the time out to brief the my fellow class mate on the ins and outs of ardmore as this was his first time there. this would have been good airmenship and would of allowed for a much safer and less risker flight.