No detail, no matter how small, escapes the notice of Duncan Aviation team members. Earlier this year, a long-time customer from Jakarta, Indonesia, arrived with his company’s Challenger 604. To the casual observer, a custom-designed sink strainer is no big deal, but it was critical to Senior Financial Advisor for Air Pacific, Muliawan Sutanto, and the rest of the flight crew.
Muliawan explained that they eat a lot of meals with rice, and despite how carefully the attendant rinsed the dishes, tiny grains of rice still slipped down the drain, and the resulting clogs were costly in terms of time and money.
A clogged drain renders the sink unusable, and clearing the drain requires that the company put down the aircraft. As nearly everyone in aviation knows, putting down an business aircraft for unscheduled maintenance is costly in terms of lost flying time, and unclogging a drain is surprisingly expensive.
“Aircraft sinks have small strainers that cover only the drain, and they get blocked pretty quickly,” says Duncan Aviation Cabinet Shop Team Leader Matt Beaudette. “When those little strainers are blocked, the sink backs up so water won’t drain, but when you lift out the strainer to clean it off, all of those little food particles go down the drain, which eventually clogs it.”
Matt researched larger strainers and realized a strainer that fits inside the sink would trap the small grains of rice while still allowing water to drain. The problem was strainers that fit inside aircraft sinks don’t exist, so he mentioned to problem to Fabrication Shop Team Leader Bryan Hart.
Bryan came up with a workable design, and he and his team crafted a custom strainer to fit inside the Challenger’s sink.
“We’re thrilled with the strainer, and it’ll more than pay for itself by preventing even one clogged drain,” says Muliawan. “It fits inside the sink, traps the food particles, and lifts out easily so the attendant can clean it.”
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