December 8, 2010
By Dan Namowitz
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive (AD) on all Diamond DA40 aircraft to correct a condition that has caused several rear passenger doors to separate from the aircraft during flight.
Effective Jan. 11, 2011, owners of certain airplanes must within six months replace the passenger door retaining bracket with an improved design. For all airplanes, a temporary revision must be incorporated into the FAA-approved airplane flight manual. That requirement must also be met within six months of the AD’s effective date.
This AD, affecting a total of 699 aircraft, was prompted by several reports of the rear passenger door departing the airplane in flight.
The section of the AD requiring replacement of the passenger door retaining bracket with an improved design applies to 428 of the aircraft: Model DA40, serial numbers 40.006 through 40.009, 40.011 through 40.081, 40.084, and 40.201 through 40.749; and Model DA40F serial numbers 40.FC001 through 40.FC009. The estimated cost per aircraft is $245.
The FAA also made Diamond Aircraft’s Temporary Revision TR–MAM 40–428, dated April 30, 2010, of the approved flight manual mandatory, according to the AD. The revision changes the emergency open door procedure to ‘‘Land at the next suitable airfield’’ when it is determined that the rear door is unlocked. The revision adds a warning not to attempt to lock the rear door in flight. The estimated cost of the revision is $42.50 per aircraft.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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