West Atlantic ATP at London and Belfast on Nov 27th 2021, elevator control difficult
Last Update: January 12, 2023 / 20:15:38 GMT/Zulu time
The British AAIB released their final report reporting the cause of this serious incident could not be determined.
However a safety action was taken: "During these investigations the operator identified that inspection of the wiring in the steering columns was challenging due to access constraints. Consequently, a new procedure has been developed to enable a more extensive inspection. The operator is pursuing the completion of the steering column inspections across its ATP fleet as a priority."
The AAIB summarized the operator's investigation:
The crew confirmed that the autopilot had disconnected as they had received the audio warning and the autopilot engaged indications on the control panel and PFD had cleared. This was also confirmed by the data downloaded from the Flight Data Recorders. During the subsequent fault finding the engineers found the elevator primary servo and lever assembly sounded noisy and was not able to drive the elevator through the full range of motion. The elevator trim servo motor also did not drive through its full range. The primary elevator servo and lever assembly and elevator trim servo were all replaced and sent to the operator’s component testing bay in Sweden for examination and testing. However, despite extensive testing the bay could not find any fault with the components.
The aircraft flew a further six cycles without incident. When on stand the flight crew discovered an elevator trim defect whilst depowering the aircraft. During testing, the electric trim switch was very slow to spring back to centre but when cleaned the spring action was restored. It was not possible to determine if this fault was related to the previous elevator control issue, but the cause was likely due to ingression of cleaning agents into the yoke switches. The operator has now ceased the disinfection of cockpit for ATP fleet due to the potential risk of inducing electrical problems and introduced a procedure for removing and residual cleaning agents from the yoke switches.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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