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March 2014


Beech 200: P & W PT6 - Doncaster Sheffield - 30/12/2013 (201317117)

During the missed approach phase, having just completed an ILS approach, both crew members noted that a smell was developing inside the aircraft.  It didn't seem to have the characteristics of either an electrical or engine smell and very soon faded away.  There was no sign of smoke, either in the cabin or the cockpit.  With this in mind, and as the smell had dispersed, the training continued.  On return to base, it became apparent that the flaps were not operating and the circuit breaker had tripped, so a flapless approach and landing was made. On the ground the breaker was reset and the flaps checked for operation.  Flaps failed to lower so the breaker was pulled out again.  One point that was noted, was the fact that the flap motor circuit breaker was hidden by the checklist that was in the P1 side pocket.  Had the whole of the circuit breaker panel been visible, the failure would probably have been detected earlier.  Procedure is now being put in place to prevent items in the side pockets obscuring the circuit breaker panels.  In the extreme case, a tightly filled pocket could prevent a breaker from tripping. 

Britten Norman BN2A:   Lycoming 540 - Alderney, Channel Is. - 09/02/2014 (201401491)

The gross error check on the runway did not highlight the issue.  Approaching take off safety speed, the Aspen flagged "cross check attitude". Taking into account VFR conditions and runway remaining I continued the take-off.  Aspen attitude matched both standby units and the flag disappeared during the climb out.  Commencing turn showed that the Aspen heading was being pulled west of the correct heading.  Due to the good VFR conditions continued to destination.  During the flight the Aspen heading error increased slightly.  After landing, observing the heading as the baggage was unloaded, identified the bag and the passenger explained they had packed car speakers.  Small changes in the orientation of the bag in the hold had significant effect on the heading error.  (GASCo Comment: Aren’t magnetic materials prohibited items?)  

Britten Norman BN2B:   Lycoming 540 - Westray - 24/01/2014 (201400927)

There were no occurrences or abnormality during the flight until the very last part of the taxi-in/parking phase. While I was positioning the aircraft into wind on the small apron and turning about 60 degrees into wind, the pilot heard a sound that could have been a cable snap and at the same time lost control of the rudder pedal. I continued the final part of the parking with differential power and brakes.  Steering cable attachment lug had broken off the rudder bar assembly.  Rudder bar replaced with new item.  

Cessna F406: P & W PT6 - Blackpool - 22/01/2014 (201400739)

The aircraft departed from maintenance (C Check) at 13.10 straight in to a VFR patrol.  At 13:40 the P2 noticed a small rivulet of clear liquid streaking the starboard engine cowling apparently emanating from a vent panel aft of the jet pipe.  The crew considered whether this could be rain water, but decided that this was unlikely and in order to have it investigated they decided that the most suitable maintenance base would be back at departure airport.  They did not consider that the streak of whatever the liquid was, was sufficient or in any position to endanger the aircraft.  The aircraft returned, no PAN call was made and the aircraft landed at 14.05 without incident or any expedited handling.  The starboard engine cowling was removed and the engine bay inspected. An oil leak was suspected to be coming from the starter generator drive. The starter
generator was removed and inspected. This item had already been replaced on the C Check completed prior to departure. The drive shaft of the newly installed starter generator was assessed to be running out of true.  A replacement starter generator was fitted.  Oil was cleaned from the area of the bay contaminated.  No addition of oil was required owing to the small quantity involved.   A ground run was performed but the leak persisted. The starter generator seal was then replaced, followed by further cleaning and another ground run.  No further leaks were detected. AMO are investigating the starter generator fault further.  

Grob G115: Lycoming 360 - Cranwell - 15/02/2014 (201403186)

Aircraft returned after its third sortie of the day, consisting of 50 minutes with a total of 5 minutes aerobatics.  The pilot had not reported any issues but the ground crew noticed a significant amount of oil on the underside of the engine cowling.  An LAE was consulted and after an initial investigation it was discovered that the fitting (P/N AN816-6-2D) connecting the hose (P/N AE6208G0094-250) to the accumulator (P/N P-447) had sheared off resulting in an oil loss of approximately 2 US Quarts.  The aircraft oil level was checked and found to be at 5 US Quarts; prior to flight it had been at 7 US Quarts therefore up to 2 US Quarts of oil was lost.  The pilot did not notice anything untoward until after landing and shutting down.  Since the fitting of the accumulator the aircraft has flown 11:40hrs.  Aircraft at other bases were instructed to remove the accumulator fitted aircraft from service with immediate effect.  All aircraft fitted with an accumulator are now withdrawn from service as part of the investigation.  The propeller governor and the broken part of the fitting on the subject aircraft has been removed and quarantined pending investigation.  As part of their internal investigation the reporter is considering seeking advice from an independent specialist to identify the root cause and failure mode of the fitting.  

Grumman AA5: Lycoming O-360 - Cranfield - 21/03/2014 (201403583)

During the Annual Inspection it was noted that the P2 control column had significantly more movement in it that the P1.  Investigation showed that the P2 sprocket assembly had been poorly fitted when last installed (time unknown) by the addition of another installation hole.  This new hole was so close to the edge of the sprocket tube that it was not holding the sprocket in place.  

Piper PA28: Lycoming O-320 - Audley End - 11/02/2014 (201401606)

During repaint, only a FOD inspection was carried out in the access holes before closure.  Severe corrosion was found on the left hand wing rear spar area at the root attachment.  There has been access panels fitted in this area to aid inspection some time ago.   Suggest these access panels a re-used to carry out inspection.


Aerospatiale AS350: Turbomeca Arriel - Denham - 10/03/2014 (201402968)

Upon return of a training flight, aircraft was shut down and refuelled.  During refuelling, hydraulic fluid was noticed leaking from decking area on the RH side of the aircraft.  Decking cleaned and ground run carried out. Hydraulic pipe found to be leaking from sheath area.  Hose removed and replaced with new post mod type.   All other affected pressure hoses to be replaced upon receipt of spares with post-mod hoses.  

Eurocopter EC135: Turbomeca Arrius  -  09/03/2014 (201402844)

During 6min positioning flight, following a refuel, the 'F QTY DEGR' caution displayed intermittently on VEMD and main fuel tank quantity indication was observed to fluctuate by approx 40kg.  Aircraft landed at destination and following a discussion with company engineers and duty managers, the aircraft was recovered to base iaw MEL.  On arrival, the main tank fwd and aft, nr1 and nr2 supply tank fuel sensors removed and inspected, grit/debris found in main tank aft sensor.  Sensor replaced. Main tank fwd and both supply tank sensors cleaned iaw ASB and installed iaw AMM.  At the start of the fuel indication checks, 'F QTY DEGR' remained indicated on CAD, CAD removed, connector and pins cleaned and inspected, CAD refitted iaw AMM 'F QTY DEGR' caption cleared.  Functional checks carried out iaw AMM. Supply indication check carried out iaw ASB, all systems serviceable. Investigations under 201400199, 201400807 and 201316084 (all same type/other aircraft).  

Eurocopter EC155: Turbomeca Arriel - Farnborough - 04/02/2014 (201401437)

During take-off, a sudden increase in wind noise, revealed that the RH pilot door had come open.  The FP handed over control to the MP in the LHS and speed reduced to 60 knots.  The pilot in the RHS was then able to fully close the door with no further incident.  All doors are fitted with micro switches that illuminate specific warnings on the CAD.  The CAD was clear before takeoff and also clear during the incident.

Supplementary 11/02/14: Pilots door warning micro switch found to be intermittent in operation due to switch sticking in closed position.  Micro switch lubricated and adjusted and tested IAW AMM 52-70-00-721.  Carry out light lubrication of micro switch at regular intervals not exceeding 50HRs.  Door warning system checked weekly during the scheduled 7day/15hour inspection. Await further reports from OEM prior to amending the AMP.  

MD 900: P & W PW200 - Redhill - 12/03/2014 (201403107)

During scheduled ground maintenance an inspection of the Nr1 leading edge main rotor blade pin revealed a crack in the lower portion of the spring retention clip.  This follows a recent failure of the same component.  Pin replaced, damaged pin retained for further investigation by maintenance group.  Blade pin retaining spring clip cracked in situ. approx. 65mm from bottom of spring clip radius.  Blade pin replaced and post first flight check torque completed. Aircraft returned to service. 

Supplementary 26/03/14: Blade retention bolt returned for evaluation.  

MD 902: P & W - 06/02/2014 (201401518)

During the return flight, the heater was selected 'ON'.  Initially the system worked fine but prior to the aircraft landing at the base, the RH section of the pilot's screen started to mist up.  The heater was switched 'OFF' and the aircraft made a successful landing with no incidence.  Prior to shut ting down, the heater was switched back 'ON' to investigate the problem.  It was then that the co-pilot's demist vents material was observed obscuring part of the vent. Luckily, the field engineer was present at the unit for servicing and managed to pull out material from the vent.

Supplementary 10/02/14: Heat/de-fog tubes disconnected from windscreen louvres and splitter tube.  Complete tube section examined for blockage and two pieces of noise insulating foam (from mixer venturi) removed.  All clear and ground run carried out to test for flow at all cockpit heat vent apertures-all found clear and flowing on demand.  

MD MD900: P & W - Redhill - 04/03/2014 (201402587)

During pilot's daily pre-flight check, the main rotor blade pin spring clip was found sheared.  Break is approx  two-thirds of the way down the spring clip at the bottom of the shoulders.  Lower part of spring clip missing.  Maintenance organisation informed.  Pin fitted to leading edge blade nr5.  Blade pin retaining spring clip fracture confirmed.  Fracture located 65mm from bottom of spring clip radius.  Aircraft inspected for missing part of spring clip, not located.  No further damage found. Blade pin replaced and post first-flight check torques completed.  Aircraft returned to service.  

Robinson R22: Lycoming 320 - Redhill - 17/01/2014 (201400683)

While carrying out main rotor track and balance check, during the second circuit as power was applied to increase to 80kts, the pilot tried pushing the left TR pedal to keep trim but was unable to move it.  With some considerable force it suddenly freed then got stuck again after moving pedal about 1/2" to 1".  The Tower was notified.  With limited TR control, an immediate descent was carried out with run on landing.


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