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Federal Aviation Regulations

Sec. 23.783 — Doors.

(a) Each closed cabin with passenger accommodations must have at least one adequate and easily accessible external door.

(b) Passenger doors must not be located with respect to any propeller disk or any other potential hazard so as to endanger persons using the door.

(c) Each external passenger or crew door must comply with the following requirements:

(1) There must be a means to lock and safeguard the door against inadvertent opening during flight by persons, by cargo, or as a result of mechanical failure.

(2) The door must be openable from the inside and the outside when the internal locking mechanism is in the locked position.

(3) There must be a means of opening which is simple and obvious and is arranged and marked inside and outside so that the door can be readily located, unlocked, and opened, even in darkness.

(4) The door must meet the marking requirements of §23.811 of this part.

(5) The door must be reasonably free from jamming as a result of fuselage deformation in an emergency landing.

(6) Auxiliary locking devices that are actuated externally to the airplane may be used but such devices must be overridden by the normal internal opening means.

(d) In addition, each external passenger or crew door, for a commuter category airplane, must comply with the following requirements:

(1) Each door must be openable from both the inside and outside, even though persons may be crowded against the door on the inside of the airplane.

(2) If inward opening doors are used, there must be a means to prevent occupants from crowding against the door to the extent that would interfere with opening the door.

(3) Auxiliary locking devices may be used.

(e) Each external door on a commuter category airplane, each external door forward of any engine or propeller on a normal, utility, or acrobatic category airplane, and each door of the pressure vessel on a pressurized airplane must comply with the following requirements:

(1) There must be a means to lock and safeguard each external door, including cargo and service type doors, against inadvertent opening in flight, by persons, by cargo, or as a result of mechanical failure or failure of a single structural element, either during or after closure.

(2) There must be a provision for direct visual inspection of the locking mechanism to determine if the external door, for which the initial opening movement is not inward, is fully closed and locked. The provisions must be discernible, under operating lighting conditions, by a crewmember using a flashlight or an equivalent lighting source.

(3) There must be a visual warning means to signal a flight crewmember if the external door is not fully closed and locked. The means must be designed so that any failure, or combination of failures, that would result in an erroneous closed and locked indication is improbable for doors for which the initial opening movement is not inward.

(f) In addition, for commuter category airplanes, the following requirements apply:

(1) Each passenger entry door must qualify as a floor level emergency exit. This exit must have a rectangular opening of not less than 24 inches wide by 48 inches high, with corner radii not greater than one-third the width of the exit.

(2) If an integral stair is installed at a passenger entry door, the stair must be designed so that, when subjected to the inertia loads resulting from the ultimate static load factors in §23.561(b)(2) and following the collapse of one or more legs of the landing gear, it will not reduce the effectiveness of emergency egress through the passenger entry door.

(g) If lavatory doors are installed, they must be designed to preclude an occupant from becoming trapped inside the lavatory. If a locking mechanism is installed, it must be capable of being unlocked from outside of the lavatory.

[Doc. No. 4080, 29 FR 17955, Dec. 18, 1964; 30 FR 258, Jan. 9, 1965, as amended by Amdt. 23–36, 53 FR 30813, Aug. 15, 1988; Amdt. 23–46, 59 FR 25772, May 17, 1994; Amdt. 23–49, 61 FR 5166, Feb. 9, 1996]

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