ASRS reports aircraft components managed to get installed upside down

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AskBob
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ASRS reports aircraft components managed to get installed upside down

Without detailed instructions and clear notation, nearly symmetrical parts can be installed incorrectly. Faced with the replacement of such a part, this CRJ 700 Maintenance Technician wound up with a case of component “mis-orientation.”
The aircraft returned to the field due to the landing gear not retracting. Previously, the nose landing gear torque links had been replaced to fix a nose wheel shimmy problem. While installing the torque links, the lower assembly was installed upside down. The lower torque link assembly looks similar upside down to the way it does right-side up. The Maintenance Manual does not specify
anything about the orientation, nor is there any indication on the part itself. I feel that if there had been a specific note that the part is able to be installed upside down, I would have paid closer attention to the orientation. The operational check of the installation did pass, but it does not require a gear swing. A note should be added in the installation task noting that the part is able to be installed incorrectly
and that it looks close to the correct installation.

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Anonymous (not verified)
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Common sense should have told you to do a gear swing after changing the torque link. Just because the maintenance manual doesn’t specifically call out to do the gear swing should not be an excuse to have not done one. Any time we do maintenance on any of the major components as they relate to flight controls, landing gears and engines we should have a heightened sense of what we are doing. This is why we have a second set of eyes look over the work and do RII’s especially for 10 or more. I am glad the aircraft made it back with no issues after all things could have been much worse. The gear could have retracted and then not come back down! You as the mechanic/inspector have to make the judgment call on what is safe. Thank you for sharing the incident hopefully the maintenance manual will get revised.

Steve340
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Anonymous,

That sounds really good on paper, If its a 700, it's a commuter, and the guy probably did the links at the gate, lord knows I have.

The thing he was stating is the lack of proper ID on the part itself. I do not have access to a 700, but I am wondering exactly what happened and why. Its possible where they meet, was made in such a way as to allow extension, and when it was reversed and fully extended it bound, and probably broke. If it were me, I usually sharpie anything not obvious, this is after 32 years I still do it.

Anyhow....

Steve

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