Reims Cessna F406, G-SFPB
After manoeuvring at low level the handling pilot found that an excessive force was required to maintain straight flight. Pitch control was normal and the aircraft was climbed to 1,000 feet. The commander assumed control, made a ‘Pan’ call and completed a straight-in approach to Runway 15 at Sumburgh. The control difficulties continued during the approach, with corrections to the left requiring considerable effort. The aircraft landed without incident and whilst taxiing in the commander attempted a ‘full and free’ check of the flight controls; he found the resistance to a left aileron input exactly the same as in flight. When the crew initially became aware of the problem the aircraft was clear of cloud, with an ambient temperature of +6°C and dew point of +3°C. During an extensive engineering investigation, later on the same day, the control restriction was no longer present and no evidence of one remained. As a precaution, all four aileron attachment bearings, which were noted to be stiff in operation, were replaced. The aircraft was returned to service and the problem has not subsequently recurred. The only significant finding was the stiff operation of the aileron bearings, which were found to be in a corroded condition. The aircraft manufacturer does not believe that the condition of the bearings were responsible for the reported restriction. Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, they are proposing to issue a Service Bulletin (SB) that calls for a periodic inspection of the aileron and rudder bearings (the elevator bearings are already subject to regular inspections).
Reims Cessna F406, G-SFPB 9-05.pdf (168.80 kb)
Date of occurrence: 14 January 2005