"Another Door Opens..."

Challenger 604 Door Hinge Replacement (2020)

  • Aircraft: 2005 Challenger 604
  • Date: February, 2020
  • Key Contributor(s): Repair Station Techicians w/Sheet Metal Expertise

As is so common in the world of aircraft maintenance, starting one task reveals another that “can’t be unseen.” Such is the case with a 2005 Challenger 604, a member of ACI Jet’s managed fleet at the time. The aircraft was at another facility undergoing a paint job, and when the crew was masking the aircraft, they observed a small amount of corrosion along the main cabin entry door hinge. Upon consultation with ACI Jet’s fleet maintenance management team, it was determined that the airframe manual indicated zero tolerance for corrosion of any kind on that part. It was time to activate the Repair Station.


The decision was made to replace the hinge assembly entirely, given the corrosion. With the complexity of the project and the absolute criticality of the positioning of the replacement part, there were two challenges right out of the gate: 1) the aircraft was more than 30 miles away from the Repair Station, and 2) as the aircraft was being repainted, including the door itself, they would have to coordinate efforts with another team at another company.

To accomplish a near-perfect position of the door hinge (the hinge pin itself, which essentially floats apart from the fuselage in a position relative to the mounting points), a mock-up of the door itself was fabricated by one of the company’s sheet metal wizards at the Repair Station in San Luis Obispo. Positioning of this pin relative to the door and the fuselage would determine where the several hundred pound door would seat on the pressure vessel. The positioning was critical.


When fabrication and installation was completed and checked, and after returning to service, the crew mentioned that “the door closes better than it did before!” A little creativity combined with expert technicians with specialized skill sets yielded a perfect end result.

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