Columbia planes have two sets of door seals: the weather seal (rubber, gray color and easily visible with the door open) and an inflatable door seal (white in color, inflates in flight to seal the door off). The former cuts rather easily but is also cheap to replace and non-critical. Its only purpose is to keep water out while the plane is parked.

The inflatable door seals are inflated in flight by a pump that attempts to maintain a constant pressure inside the seals. If the seal gets cut in any way, this makes the pump run non-stop and while not overly fragile (some are known to run non-stop for 2yrs), they are not designed for continuous duty and thus, cuts in the seals should be fixed as quickly as possible to avoid higher costs down the road.

Costs


Pneumatic door seal (PN LA52113600-F): $502
Seal pump: $1200

Repair process


The inflatable seal is rather easy to repair. Small/tiny holes can be repaired with cynoacrolyte (aka. superglue). Larger holes can be repaired following this process:

  1. Clean the pin hole with Acetone or MEK.
  2. Take RTV and fill over the pin hole.
  3. Clean with Acetone and or MEK again.
  4. Take a little RTV and smear it around the hole then take a very small piece of Peel Ply and place to the RTV and seal.
  5. Take a little RTV and smear it around the edges of the Peel Ply and let stand over night.


Repair Process - Option 2


  1. Clean the pin hole with Acetone or MEK
  2. Superglue shut and allow to dry/cure for 24 hours.
  3. Superglue a tub patch over the hole and allow to cure. Then inflate and verify the patch is holding.
  4. While inflated, spread some silicone gel over the patch to ensure a robust, moisture-proof repair.