8/13/2022 - N44PF

Pascal Duchemin - KHWD KHWD Radio volume issues - unlocked door - return to land ------------ On a pretty warm day, I decided to head to Stockton with a piper I had been flying for about a year. About a month agp, when I flew the plane, there were radio volume issue (dimmed). But that day the volume was even dimmer to the point that after troubleshooting in multiple ways, I had to max out all the various volume channels. Troubleshooting took some time and probably prevented me from focusing properly on my flight prep. After getting clearance to taxi to 28R and completing my runup, I unfortunately did not lock the second latch on the door. Technically, the plane can fly fine with that lock unlatched, but the sound of the wind and the combination of the dimmed audio makes it really hard to communicate properly. I only realized that the door was unlatched right after lifting off. I knew that trying to lock the latch while in flight during a critical phase of the flight (take off) would be unsafe. So I asked tower to land back again and mentioned that I had an unlocked door. Another plane was in front of my in the pattern and had just received clearance to land. The controller granted me to land as number 2, but right after another controller (probably a supervisor) asked to plane in front of me to extend its downwind and granted me number 1 to land. The landing was fairly uneventful but due I decided to call it a day and go back to the parking instead of just locking the door and taking off again. One of the lesson learned, is to ensure that the whole pre-take off checklist is followed regardless of how distracted with other things I could be,

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