FAA Proposes AD for Diamond Aircraft Doors
August 26, 2010 — The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking this week on an airworthiness directive (AD) for Diamond Aircraft DA 40 and DA 40F airplanes to address recurring problems of their rear passenger doors falling off in flight. According to the NPRM, the proposed AD would “change the emergency open doors procedure by incorporation of a temporary revision into the FAA-approved airplane flight manual for all airplanes.” The AD would also require replacing the passenger door retaining bracket with an improved design for certain airplanes.
Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH has reported an estimated 31 instances of doors departing the aircraft in flight and another 18 doors needing replacement because of damage to door hinges on windblown, parked airplanes. Tests conducted by the company concluded that the locking mechanism provided adequate strength to react the loads in flight but that the root cause was the crew not properly securing the rear passenger door prior to flight.
Comments are being accepted to the NPRM until October 12, 2010.