Accident CZAW SportCruiser PH-BEM, Saturday 21 April 2018
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Date:Saturday 21 April 2018
Time:c. 14:35
Type:Silhouette image of generic CRUZ model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
CZAW SportCruiser
Registration: PH-BEM
MSN: 08SC215
Year of manufacture:2008
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:near Oudewater, Utrecht -   Netherlands
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Breda International Airport (EHSE)
Destination airport:Texel International Airport
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
The pilot was flying under Visual Flight Rules at an altitude of 1,300 feet from Breda International Airport to Texel International Airport. The autopilot was activated. The aircraft had two occupants. The pilot experienced operating problems in the vicinity of Oudewater. He stated that the plane abruptly went into a nose dive. He had a lot of trouble returning the plane to the horizontal.
With the help of the autopilot, he tried to keep the plane horizontal. When this procedure was unsuccessful, he switched off the autopilot and tried to trim the plane by making an “up” input. Initially, this action had no
noticeable result. With the help of his passenger, who also held a pilot licence, the pilot in command then attempted
to lift the nose of the plane. However, the aircraft was difficult to control. The ailerons and the rudder apparently
responded normally to the movement of the control instruments. The pilot then decided to make an
emergency landing and selected a field in which to do so.
During the emergency landing, the left wheel of the main landing gear got caught in a ditch which the pilot had not previously noticed. The aircraft then turned to the left and came to a halt with its nose in the ground. Nobody on the
aircraft was harmed, although the aircraft was damaged.
After the emergency landing, a glasses case was found in the vicinity of the control mechanisms. The crew stated that the sudden nose dive could not have been caused by this glasses case, because the plane had been flying
steadily on autopilot without any course or altitude corrections. According to the crew, the case ended up in that position due to the jolt of the emergency landing or when they were taking their personal possessions out of the plane.

The crew suspected that it was a case of an ‘out-of control’ electric trim or servo control of the autopilot, or both. According to the aircraft manufacturer, Czech Sport Aircraft a.s., incidents have occurred in which an excessive quantity of solder on the contact points of the push-totalk button on the stick resulted in the elevator trim responding in such a way that the nose of the plane tilted up. The manufacturer issued a Service Bulletin on this subject in 2010 for the SportCruiser and PiperSport (SB-SC-001, dated 4 June 2010). In the Service Bulletin, an inspection of the stick grip and the application of additional insulation were recommended. The recommendation in the Service Bulletin was implemented for PH-BEM on 2 July 2010.
The Dutch Safety Board did not visit the crash site and was unable to establish how or when the glasses case came to be in the vicinity of the control mechanism. The Dutch Safety Board did not conduct an investigation into the functioning of the electric trim or autopilot and can neither confirm nor rule out the glasses case scenario as a possible cause of the operating problems.


Revision history:

23-Apr-2018 19:36 harro Added
23-Apr-2018 19:36 harro Updated [Total occupants, Narrative]
20-Dec-2018 15:27 harro Updated [Total occupants, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
22-Jun-2022 01:30 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

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