(a) General. This section applies to fuselage doors, which includes all doors, hatches, openable windows, access panels, covers, etc., on the exterior of the fuselage that do not require the use of tools to open or close. This also applies to each door or hatch through a pressure bulkhead, including any bulkhead that is specifically designed to function as a secondary bulkhead under the prescribed failure conditions of part 25. These doors must meet the requirements of this section, taking into account both pressurized and unpressurized flight, and must be designed as follows:
(1) Each door must have means to safeguard against opening in flight as a result of mechanical failure, or failure of any single structural element.
(2) Each door that could be a hazard if it unlatches must be designed so that unlatching during pressurized and unpressurized flight from the fully closed, latched, and locked condition is extremely improbable. This must be shown by safety analysis.
(3) Each element of each door operating system must be designed or, where impracticable, distinctively and permanently marked, to minimize the probability of incorrect assembly and adjustment that could result in a malfunction.
(4) All sources of power that could initiate unlocking or unlatching of any door must be automatically isolated from the latching and locking systems prior to flight and it must not be possible to restore power to the door during flight.
(5) Each removable bolt, screw, nut, pin, or other removable fastener must meet the locking requirements of § 25.607.
(6) Certain doors, as specified by § 25.807(h), must also meet the applicable requirements of §§ 25.809 through 25.812 for emergency exits.
(b) Opening by persons. There must be a means to safeguard each door against opening during flight due to inadvertent action by persons. In addition, design precautions must be taken to minimize the possibility for a person to open a door intentionally during flight. If these precautions include the use of auxiliary devices, those devices and their controlling systems must be designed so that—
(1) No single failure will prevent more than one exit from being opened; and
(2) Failures that would prevent opening of the exit after landing are improbable.
(c) Pressurization prevention means. There must be a provision to prevent pressurization of the airplane to an unsafe level if any door subject to pressurization is not fully closed, latched, and locked.
(1) The provision must be designed to function after any single failure, or after any combination of failures not shown to be extremely improbable.
(2) Doors that meet the conditions described in paragraph (h) of this section are not required to have a dedicated pressurization prevention means if, from every possible position of the door, it will remain open to the extent that it prevents pressurization or safely close and latch as pressurization takes place. This must also be shown with any single failure and malfunction, except that—
(i) With failures or malfunctions in the latching mechanism, it need not latch after closing; and
(ii) With jamming as a result of mechanical failure or blocking debris, the door need not close and latch if it can be shown that the pressurization loads on the jammed door or mechanism would not result in an unsafe condition.
(d) Latching and locking. The latching and locking mechanisms must be designed as follows:
(1) There must be a provision to latch each door.
(2) The latches and their operating mechanism must be designed so that, under all airplane flight and ground loading conditions, with the door latched, there is no force or torque tending to unlatch the latches. In addition, the latching system must include a means to secure the latches in the latched position. This means must be independent of the locking system.
(3) Each door subject to pressurization, and for which the initial opening movement is not inward, must—
(i) Have an individual lock for each latch;
(ii) Have the lock located as close as practicable to the latch; and
(iii) Be designed so that, during pressurized flight, no single failure in the locking system would prevent the locks from restraining the latches necessary to secure the door.
(4) Each door for which the initial opening movement is inward, and unlatching of the door could result in a hazard, must have a locking means to prevent the latches from becoming disengaged. The locking means must ensure sufficient latching to prevent opening of the door even with a single failure of the latching mechanism.
(5) It must not be possible to position the lock in the locked position if the latch and the latching mechanism are not in the latched position.
(6) It must not be possible to unlatch the latches with the locks in the locked position. Locks must be designed to withstand the limit loads resulting from—
(i) The maximum operator effort when the latches are operated manually;
(ii) The powered latch actuators, if installed; and
(iii) The relative motion between the latch and the structural counterpart.
(7) Each door for which unlatching would not result in a hazard is not required to have a locking mechanism meeting the requirements of paragraphs (d)(3) through (d)(6) of this section.
(e) Warning, caution, and advisory indications. Doors must be provided with the following indications:
(1) There must be a positive means to indicate at each door operator's station that all required operations to close, latch, and lock the door(s) have been completed.
(2) There must be a positive means clearly visible from each operator station for any door that could be a hazard if unlatched to indicate if the door is not fully closed, latched, and locked.
(3) There must be a visual means on the flight deck to signal the pilots if any door is not fully closed, latched, and locked. The means must be designed such that any failure or combination of failures that would result in an erroneous closed, latched, and locked indication is improbable for—
(i) Each door that is subject to pressurization and for which the initial opening movement is not inward; or
(ii) Each door that could be a hazard if unlatched.
(4) There must be an aural warning to the pilots prior to or during the initial portion of takeoff roll if any door is not fully closed, latched, and locked, and its opening would prevent a safe takeoff and return to landing.
(f) Visual inspection provision. Each door for which unlatching of the door could be a hazard must have a provision for direct visual inspection to determine, without ambiguity, if the door is fully closed, latched, and locked. The provision must be permanent and discernible under operational lighting conditions, or by means of a flashlight or equivalent light source.
(g) Certain maintenance doors, removable emergency exits, and access panels. Some doors not normally opened except for maintenance purposes or emergency evacuation and some access panels need not comply with certain paragraphs of this section as follows:
(1) Access panels that are not subject to cabin pressurization and would not be a hazard if open during flight need not comply with paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section, but must have a means to prevent inadvertent opening during flight.
(2) Inward-opening removable emergency exits that are not normally removed, except for maintenance purposes or emergency evacuation, and flight deck-openable windows need not comply with paragraphs (c) and (f) of this section.
(3) Maintenance doors that meet the conditions of paragraph (h) of this section, and for which a placard is provided limiting use to maintenance access, need not comply with paragraphs (c) and (f) of this section.
(h) Doors that are not a hazard. For the purposes of this section, a door is considered not to be a hazard in the unlatched condition during flight, provided it can be shown to meet all of the following conditions:
(1) Doors in pressurized compartments would remain in the fully closed position if not restrained by the latches when subject to a pressure greater than 1⁄2 psi. Opening by persons, either inadvertently or intentionally, need not be considered in making this determination.
(2) The door would remain inside the airplane or remain attached to the airplane if it opens either in pressurized or unpressurized portions of the flight. This determination must include the consideration of inadvertent and intentional opening by persons during either pressurized or unpressurized portions of the flight.
(3) The disengagement of the latches during flight would not allow depressurization of the cabin to an unsafe level. This safety assessment must include the physiological effects on the occupants.
(4) The open door during flight would not create aerodynamic interference that could preclude safe flight and landing.
(5) The airplane would meet the structural design requirements with the door open. This assessment must include the aeroelastic stability requirements of § 25.629, as well as the strength requirements of subpart C of this part.
(6) The unlatching or opening of the door must not preclude safe flight and landing as a result of interaction with other systems or structures.
[Doc. No. 2003-14193, 69 FR 24501, May 3, 2004]