Squawk Box

September 2008 Issue

Diamond Door Departs

The following information is derived from the FAA’s Service Difficulty Reports.

At rotation speed on the takeoff roll, the aft passenger door (p/n DA4-5221-00-00-2) departed the airframe, narrowly missing the tail plane and rudder. The door was later recovered. The aft hinge was broken off and the forward hinge damaged. Investigation revealed the hinge had cracked (then broke), due in part to the materials used in part fabrication and the high pressure placed upon it by the door opening strut (p/n DA4-9052-00-11). The door and hinge are one assembly made of composite material. The hinge is approximately ¾-inch wide. The strut is attached near the rear hinge. It exerts approximately 90 pounds of force near the hinge attach point. Even though the door employs a safety latch handle, when the aft hinge fails the door flexes enough to slide past the stop.

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