Duncan Aviation Offers Unusual Solution To Challenger Service Bulletin

 - October 29, 2012, 9:35 AM
A Duncan Aviation maintenance tech uses the Aero 40 dry-ice blasting machine to remove the epoxy ramp from a Challenger passenger door.

Duncan Aviation of Lincoln, Neb. (Booth No. 5580), a provider of airframe inspections, engine maintenance, cabin and cockpit systems retrofits, painting and interior work, as well as pre-owned aircraft sales and acquisitions, has acquired several examples of a dry-ice blasting machine to accomplish a specific service bulletin for its Bombardier Challenger customers.

The blasting machine, a Cold Jet Aero 40, uses dry ice to remove epoxy, corrosion and other materials without damaging aircraft surfaces. Duncan bought the machines so that it could offer Challenger operators compliance with Service Bulletin ATA 55-11, which requires the removal of the epoxy ramp in the passenger door to prevent further corrosion.

According to the bulletin, “There here have been several reports of corrosion in the lower structural elements of the passenger door. It was determined that the epoxy ramp installed to prevent water accumulation could deteriorate with time and retain moisture. The purpose of this Service Bulletin is to remove the epoxy ramp to prevent further corrosion, add additional draining holes and modify the door structure to allow access to facilitate scheduled inspections.” The SB also recommends using dry-ice blasting to achieve the best results when removing the ramp.

According to company president Aaron Hilkemann, Duncan Aviation’s tech rep for Challenger airframes Scott Shefke “took the initiative to learn more about dry-ice technology and concluded that this tool was needed to perform this service bulletin effectively and efficiently, We listened and, within a couple of weeks, all three Duncan Aviation maintenance facilities [in Lincoln, Neb.; Battle Creek, Mich.; and Provo, Utah] were each provided an Aero 40 dry-ice blasting machine.”

Duncan Aviation has completed this service bulletin for the Challenger in the field, and has several more SB completions scheduled through the rest of this year. It is also researching other applications for this technology.

Cold Jet, a manufacturer of several models of dry-ice blasting machines, is headquartered in Loveland, Ohio. According to Kellie Grob, Cold Jet chief marketing officer, the prices of the company’s “standard products range from $15,000 to $50,000 for a complete system out of the box.” Customizations cost extra, she told AIN.