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February 2014


BN2A Islander: Lycoming-540 - Guernsey - 01/02/2014 (201401153)

T/O Flap was selected for initial approach to rwy 27. The trim continued to run fwd to a full nose down attitude and then the trim wheel was jammed.  Excessive back pressure was required in an attempt to maintain glide path.  However this was not possible.  Flaps were then selected to up and trim wheel became available for manual use.  Considered pulling the Trim CB however as I was able to trim the aircraft, decided to land flapless with good control and trim forces relieved.  A normal flapless landing was then conducted and tech log entry was made to ground the aircraft.  

Cessna 182: Lycoming-540 - Oxford Kidlington - 29/12/2013 (201316837)

Emergency declared and aircraft returned due to electrical failure accompanied by a burning smell in the cockpit.  At the time of the incident I was acting as combined ADI/APC controller.  The aircraft was on a local detail to the west of the aerodrome.  At 13.40 the a/c called stating he had an emergency due to an electrical failure.  The a/c was cleared to make a right base join to runway 19 and a Full Emergency was initiated using the crash alarm.  Two fire vehicles responded and were positioned at holding point Charlie.  At 1345 the aircraft landed safely.  The pilot indicated he was happy to taxi in as normal as 'the fumes have gone away'.  Both fire vehicles followed the a/c down the runway & into parking.  

Supplementary 28/12/13: Whilst in the cruise, the MFD failed completely (black screen) and almost immediately both crew noticed a strong electrical overheat/burning smell.   An emergency was declared, an immediate recovery to EGTK was initiated and the checklist carried out.  The smell vanished almost immediately when the alternators were switched off.  The aircraft was landed safely with no further incident.  

Cessna 406: P & W PT6 - Inverness - 31/01/2014 (201401179)

At approximately 2000 ft on a coupled ILS approach to Inverness Rwy 05 after normal localiser and glide path capture, the aircraft pitched down to an estimated -5/6 degrees and with a sudden increase in rate of descent to between 1500 ft and 2200 ft /min. The captain pressed the autopilot disconnect button immediately and simultaneously applied back pressure and manual trim to overcome the pitch down and to regain the glide path. The captain's autopilot disconnect was ineffective so he instructed the F/O to use the right hand column disconnect button.  This also failed to have any effect so the captain tripped the electric trim circuit breaker and instructed the F/O to trip the autopilot circuit breaker located on the starboard side of the cockpit.  The controls remained stiffer than normal at first, but were manageable.  The crew were visual with the runway and had clearance to land so the captain elected to continue.  The aircraft had deviated below the glide path so was restored to profile and the approach was stabilised by 1500 ft QNH. By 500 ft agl the control forces felt normal once more.  The landing and taxi to stand were without further incident.  No functional defects were found with the autopilot disconnect system or pitch actuator, however the roll actuator intermittently remained engaged in left roll despite system disconnection. The pitch actuator has been changed as a precaution and the aircraft awaits a maintenance check flight.  The possibility of icing contributing to the failure is also being considered. Further investigation is underway.  

Diamond DA40: Thielert Centurion 1.7 - Bournemouth/Hurn - 06/02/2014 (201401411)

During scheduled maintenance work reporter has recently identified 2 turbocharger clamps on separate aircraft that have cracked.  From first aircraft, records show that the clamp was fitted in Feb 1013 and removed having consumed 214 Flight Hours.  From second aircraft, records show that the clamp was fitted in July 1012 and removed having consumed 686 Flight Hours.  Both clamps have been replaced and the engine Type Certificate Holder has been informed.  

Diamond DA42: Thielert Centurion 1.7 - Bournemouth/Hurn - 19/02/2014 (201402093)

Whilst configured for an incipient stall practice, fluid was identified on the RH engine.  On closer inspection it appeared to be oil, leaking from the front of the engine near to the gearbox oil inspection window and from gaps in the engine cowling.  All engine parameters remained normal. ATC were informed and aircraft was returned for precaution and completed a normal landing with both engines operative.  Aircraft was referred to engineering.  Fluid was identified as gearbox oil and oil pipe was found to have failed.  Part replaced.  

Diamond DA42: Thielert Centurion 1.7 - Wick - 02/02/2014 (201402253)

Pre-flight checks were completed up to engine start and iaw SOPs, the LH engine started first.  Following a successful start, the engine instrumentation was observed to be in normal operating ranges and as expected given that the aircraft had been shut down for less than one hour.  However, prior to starting the RH engine, a left ECU B fail caption illuminated.  We decided to continue with the start of the RH engine and successive check items with the opinion that if it was just a sensor fault and it may clear during the ECU test.  The ECU test was initiated and far from clearing the caption, when the ECU on the LH engine changed from A to B, the engine ran rough for 1-2 seconds and stopped.  We subsequently shut down both engines and after sufficient time, restarted the LH engine to perform the test again.  The caption remained and the engine stopped a second time with notably less rough running.  Flying the aircraft back was not an option and we cancelled our flight plan.  Ops were informed and we positioned home by road.  LH engine FADEC download carried out and the following was observed: A/B differential propeller speed 1895 RPM lane1 0, lane 2 fault, traced to B crankshaft speed sensor and replaced.  EGR carried out, all observations and indications now fully satisfactory.  

Fournier RF6: Continental O-200 - Gloucestershire - 29/12/2013 (201316826)

Suspected engine fire at holding point.  Pilot reported "We have a problem, a bit of a fire" whilst at the holding point prior to departure. Aircraft ground incident initiated. Aircraft shut down and crew self-evacuated before RFFS reached the scene. Operator reported a suspected oil leak. Aircraft towed to maintenance.  

Piper PA28: Lycoming o-320 - Coventry  - 10/12/2013 (201316049)

On climb out into the circuit at around 400ft AAL, the pilot requested immediate return by tear-dropping to the reciprocal runway.  A clearance to land was issued.  The pilot went on to state that he had an alternator failure and there was a smell of burning in the cockpit.  A full emergency was initiated. The aircraft went around from its approach to RWY 05 and landed safely one minute later on RWY 23. The RFFS was alerted via the crash alarm and outside services were informed but stopped at time 19:56.  

Technam P2002: Rotax - Gloucestershire - 30/01/2014 (201401139)

During scheduled maintenance Starboard engine no 3 cylinder exhaust riser and muffler severely worn causing exhaust gasses to enter the engine bay muffler and riser knuckle joints worn to a knife edge. Reporter is  waiting for a response.


Aerospatiale AS350: Turbomeca Arrius - Blackpool  - 28/01/2014 (201400946)

During the 13 month repetitive inspection of the Emergency Floatation Gear Attachment Brackets, as required by ASB AS350-05.00.63 paragraph 1.E.2, and mandated by EASA AD 2011-0072, the rear left hand bracket, Part Number 158172, was found to be cracked. The crack is in a different area from those detailed in ASB figure 1 Area A-A. Cracked bracket replaced. 

Aerospatiale AS350:   -  Lasham  - 11/02/2014 (201402118)

During the scheduled 100hr/1 year maintenance check, two cracks were found in the upper stabiliser LH side at the lower part of the skin doubler bracing. The crack indications and length was confirmed following an NDT Eddy Current Inspection with crack lengths indicated at 50mm and 27mm respectively. Aircraft is still in maintenance and will require a replacement Upper Stabiliser to be sourced and fitted.

Aerospatiale AS355: ALLISON 250 - Redhill - 06/01/2014 (201400235)

Approx 5mins after take-off, TRG CHIP caption illuminated. Checklist sanctioned, aircraft diverted back to home airfield without further incident.  Chafed cable found and repaired.  Aircraft returned to service. 

Agusta A109: P & W PW200 - Carlisle - 04/12/2013 (201316050)

During post flight walk around, the paint on top of the No2 engine cowling was seen to be slightly discoloured.  On further inspection it was hot to touch.  Upon lifting the engine cowling the hot air bleed pipe from the top of the engine to the ECS had split and some of the insulation had been pushed out.  This had caused a hot gas leak that had caused the cowling to get hot.  The aircraft was grounded pending engineering support.  #2 Engine ECS hot air supply pipe split-pipe to be replaced. 

Agusta A109:    -  Northampton/Sywell - 30/01/2014 (201401369)

During the 800 hour inspection the yellow main rotor servo actuator (p/n 109-0110-42-135 s/n 6274) upper rod end found to be loose. The lock washer was missing and the lock nut was loose. The rod end has been fretting on the servo upper threaded portion and a large amount of play is apparent. A black residue (dust) was found indicating heavy fretting. The aircraft manufacturer was informed and the parts were removed and returned under their instruction for inspection and investigation into the incident/occurrence.   

Bell B429: P & W - Blackpool - 20/02/2014 (201402067)

Crack found in main rotor blade spar leading edge abrasion strip.  Main rotor blade leading edge spar cracked chordwise. Following damage in the hangar to main rotor blade S/N A-2876 trim tab, the blade was removed for repair.  During the receiving inspection, a crack was discovered on the lower face of the blade spar extending chordwise to the apex of the leading edge at main rotor blade station 186.3.  The remaining blades were inspected with a further crack being found in main rotor blade serial number A-2887.  The remaining 3 blades were then also sent for further inspection / repair where they carried out dye penetrant inspection of all blades and discovered two cracks on main rotor blade serial number A-2887; the first at main rotor blade station 186 and the second at main rotor blade station 170.  The second crack was only visible following dye penetrant inspection.  Both affected main rotor blades replaced. 

Supplementary 21/02/14: Main rotor blade trim tab damaged.  Blade removed and sent for repair.  Blade found cracked at blade station 186. Crack extends from apex of leading edge extending on the underside to the aft edge of the leading edge spar abrasion strip.  Remaining blades inspected.  Blade S/N A-2887 found cracked at blade station 186. Remaining three blades sent to RBL for inspection and repair.  Second crack found on blade S/N A-2887 at blade station 170. Crack evident following dye penetrant inspection.  Main rotor blades replaced.  Cracked blades returned for evaluation.  

Eurocopter EC135: Turbomeca Arrius/Arriel & P & W  -  Various (Various)

During the month of February 2014, a total of 7 occurrence reports were submitted from a number of locations including Manchester/Barton, Hawarden, Benson, Henstridge x2, Inverness & ‘not stated’ of fuel gauging problems of various sorts.  Full details are available from the CAA Occurrences web site,CAA Safety Data - General Aviation Reports These resulted in diversions and considerable operational aggravation.  

Eurocopter  EC135: Turbomeca Arrius - Bristol/Filton - 14/02/2014 (201401789)

In the transit to a task, whilst carrying out a lookout scan I saw a message flash up and then very quickly disappear on the Primary Flight Display (PFD)screen.  I immediately noticed the ND had failed to a blank black screen and could not be turned back on.  With the Standby DI and the PFD in Nav mode I continued as I had two heading reference systems.  Remaining VFR throughout.  After approx 15 minutes the ND screen came back to life with no non-standard symbology visible.  Aircraft returned to base and engineering advice sought.  Aircraft limited to DAY VFR with visibility greater than 1500m and no over water flight without sight of the shore.  

Eurocopter EC135: Turbomeca Arrius - Glasgow City - 13/02/2014 (201401744)

During low speed flight, a whirring sound was heard by all three crew members. The noise was more apparent when more left pedal was used.  The aircraft was placed unserviceable for further investigation.  Tail rotor drive, tail rotor fenestron assembly inspected iaw AMM.  No defects found.  Rear TR control rod disconnected and freedom of movement check carried out, rear control rod reconnected iaw AMM. Tail rotor balance check carried out iaw AMM, slight imbalance found, adjustments carried out, balance of 0.062IPS obtained.  Balance within limits.  Flight test carried out, no further whirring noise apparent. Aircraft declared serviceable and returned to service.  

MD 902: P & W PW200 - North Weald - 07/12/2013 (201316155)

Returning from HEMS incident, on short finals to land at dispersal at the main operating base, the yellow transmission low oil pressure caption illuminated with a pressure of 70% and reducing.  A couple of seconds later the red caption illuminated with the lowest pressure observed at 64%.  The crew were notified with the intention to continue to land. As the aircraft was on approach, the power was already below 56%.  The display button on the IIDS was selected.  From the initial caption illuminating to the landing was around 20 seconds, during this time the red caption flickered off/on/off.  Owing to the short time to a pre-planned landing a PAN was not declared.  As the lever was lowered on the ground, the yellow caption flickered then extinguished.  Oil temperature was 80 deg C steady.  Rectification carried out. Replacement of 3 micron and 75 micron filters carried out.  Ground run hover check and flight test produced normal oil pressure and temperature indications.  

MD MD900: P & W - Topcliffe - 05/12/2013 (201316006)

During a night OPC/LPC, while the candidate was landing on the airfield at the conclusion of the sortie, the instructor heard the Nr rising rapidly and immediately prevented any further collective movement.  The RH EEC had reverted to MAN and was fixed at 65%, while the LH Tq was 0% and the Nr arrested at 104%-CLP was held at c.20% and the aircraft remained in contact with the ground but light on the skids.  After determining that the reversion to MAN was unbidden, the LH throttle was slowly wound off and the collective lowered, returning the aircraft to a safer configuration.  Several EEC reset procedures were attempted from both the RHS and LHS but without success.  The aircraft was shutdown to enable recovery of the portable landing lights and a ground EEC reset/restart attempted, which was this time successful. Aircraft was hover taxied back to dispersal without further incident, monitoring the IIDS throughout.  This event occurred soon after a simulated MAN throttle exercise had been completed by the candidate, during which the EEC was initially reluctant to enter MAN mode. Twisting the LH twist-grip either way out of its detent had produced no indication on the IIDS and no change in the Torque.  Similar problems with the LH EEC failing to enter MAN mode had been noticed by the same instructor during OPCs on 2nd October and 24th November and reported to maintenance on both occasions.  During the OPC on 24th November, a different candidate had experienced an unbidden EEC MAN shortly after declaring LDP-approximately five minutes after conclusion of the manual throttles element during that sortie.  The problem was investigated by engineers on 26th November but no fault found and the aircraft remained in service.  It has flown c.6:30 of HEMS missions since that check without incident -the problem seems specifically related to the manipulation of manual throttles during training while simulating an EEC FAIL caption.  On every occasion, pilots have deliberately twisted the throttle from its detent in flight but not received any IIDS indications, although the system works fine for comp washes.



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