Serious incident Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia N16718, Saturday 12 August 2000
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Date:Saturday 12 August 2000
Time:14:03 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic E120 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia
Owner/operator:Continental Express
Registration: N16718
MSN: 120136
Year of manufacture:1989
Total airframe hrs:22727 hours
Engine model:P&W PW-118
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 23
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:San Angelo, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport, TX (IAH/KIAH)
Destination airport:San Angelo, TX (KSJT)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The airplane was descending through 14,500 feet when an uncommanded disconnect of the autopilot occurred, and the airplane "abruptly" pitched up from 5 degrees nose down to 15 degrees nose up (pitch reversion). Simultaneously, the captain and first officer applied forward pressure on their control columns to regain control of the airplane. The airplane was re-established in a descent and the flight crew found that the airplane was controllable in the landing configuration. Subsequently, the flight landed without further incident. Post incident examination of the airplane revealed that the right elevator trim control wheel was improperly installed. The installation allowed the autopilot trim servo to request nose down trim until the trim tab actuators had reached their physical limits. The autopilot trim servo continued to request nose down trim, loading the elevator trim system cables, until the autopilot disconnected. During the examination, it was also noted that the trim tab deflections and cable tensions did not meet manufacturer specifications. Review of maintenance records revealed two instances when the elevator pitch trim system underwent maintenance. On April 14, 1998, the right side elevator trim control wheel was removed and reinstalled "while aligning stop arm into wheel." Continental Express reported that the trim tabs were adjusted during the maintenance. On August 11, 2000, the following maintenance write-up was recorded in the aircraft flight log: "Elev trim will not go full forward, stops at two units." The flight log indicated that the following corrective action was taken; "Lubed trim wheel for elev trim." Continental Express reported that the trim wheel was not removed during this corrective action.

Probable Cause: the improper installation of the right elevator trim control wheel by company mechanics, which resulted in an elevator trim malfunction.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: FTW00IA228
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 9 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

25-Mar-2024 11:52 ASN Update Bot Added

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