Rear Seat Install Technique?

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shoffert
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Rear Seat Install Technique?

Post by shoffert »

I see a few posts where folks have griped about putting the rear seat back in, but can't find one where someone has offered a good technique on how to do it.

The AMM says "place the rear seat in the fuselage"...if only it were so easy.

Mine came out of the plane through the rear window upside down and backwards without scratching anything, but I can't seem to recreate the process in reverse.

Anyone have a good technique they can share?
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Steve
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Re: Rear Seat Install Technique?

Post by Steve »

I have done this at least 20 times total over the years for Annual Inspections, and a couple of other instances. I guess that qualifies me as an expert. First off, make sure you protect bottom of the rear hatch opening and the left wing. I use an auto fender protector and a movers pad:
Protectors.JPG
An extra set of hands helps as well:
IMG_2667.jpg
You may have to flex the rear cargo shelf portion of the seat assembly to get it through the hatch opening. The key is aligning the widest part of the seat to the widest part of the rear fuselage. This will occur when the front lip of the seat is about 1 - 1.5 inches in front of the rear spar carry-through on the fuselage floor.

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Re: Rear Seat Install Technique?

Post by blsewardjr »

Here's Diamond's Service Instruction for the DA42 on it -- http://support.diamond-air.at/fileadmin ... -Seats.pdf Should be similar for a DA40
Bernie Seward, IR, AGI
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Rich
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Re: Rear Seat Install Technique?

Post by Rich »

Try as I might I can not get my rear seat in or out of the rear hatch. The problem is there is no flex whatsoever in those left or right side pseudo-armrests, as the DA42 document suggests. So it gets rotated and removed through the front canopy with the right side forward, being very, very careful not to let the trailing edge corner on the right side of the seat gouge the right rear window. I submit there must be some variation in the seat construction in different serial numbers. It might be a factor that I have the leather seats.

We've found we can do routine inspections without removing the thing. Just unbolt it and lift it up to allow access to inspect the stuff below.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: Rear Seat Install Technique?

Post by shoffert »

Thanks for all your help!

I did some experimenting myself, and here's the technique I came up with.

I wrote down all the little details that I noticed as a first timer. Since that's probably going to be the audience for this post I thought it would be helpful.

1. Do this while your front seats are removed. You'll really appreciate the space.
2. If you removed your rear bulkhead cover, put it back in place before reinstalling the rear seat. It's easier that way.
3. Tape some old towels over the sill of the rear entry door...there are nuts on the bottom of the seat that will try to scratch it as well as some fiberglass on the front of the seat.
* See my photo where previous maintainers have scratched this aircraft. Protect the whole sill, but make sure these parts are especially protected in a way that has as little thickness as possible.
4. With painter's tape (or some other gentle tape) tape the seats down in the folded forward position. That will make the seat easier to wrangle.
5. Slide the seat through the rear window in the orientation that it will be at in the plane (don't worry about getting it aligned in any particular way). Let the starboard side sit low in the fuselage and leave the port side high, up above the sill
6. Climb in to the plane and sit on the spar that's under the front seats, or on the center console if it is in place.
7. Extend the rear seat belts to their full length.
8. Un-tape one seat back to give yourself some room...thread the seat belts through the cutout in the seat pan in the orientation you need them (to avoid twists)
9. While sitting in the cockpit you can easily thread the bolt w/ washer through the seat, through the end of the seat belt, and through the bracket on the bottom of the seat and then install and tighten washer and nylock nut (no need to tape seat belts in place or do anything crazy to get the seat belt anchor bolts in)
10. Tape the seat back back in the down position to help keep it out of the way
11. Place the starboard front corner of the seat slightly ahead of proper position...above the spar and up against the fire extinguisher, below the vent and behind the seat belt reel for the front passenger seat.
* See photo below
12. Check that your towel is still in place on the door sill...this next step is where the scratches come from!!!
13. Rock the port side of the rear seat forward so that it drops/rocks into the plane with little to no effort...the seat will tip forward a little...note that the seat is still hung up on the sill a little further back.
14. Once the front part of the seat is inside the sill, and the rear seat is tipped forward slightly, slide the port side of the rear seat towards the back the plane. As it slides back you'll make enough room for the rest of the seat to fall into the fuselage with little to no effort (and no scratches).
***For me this was "the trick"...learning to slide the port side towards the front of the plane to slip the front part of the seat under the sill, then sliding the port side backwards to make room for the back of the seat to fall below the sill.
15. Once below the sill, it takes a bit of pressure (the seat pushing against the upholstery, mainly) to slide the seat into position.
16. To finish, put the rest of the bolts in, in accordance with the AMM.

These are the two places on the sill where the seat gets really close. The scratches are from previous annuals.
Reat Seat Sill Scratches.png
This is the spot where you want to put the front, starboard, side of the rear seat to create the space you need
Rear Seat Position.png
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