Thursday 22 March 2018

Plane incident due to repair oversight

Pat Flynn

The incorrect installation of a critical part and inadequate staffing at an airport maintenance facility resulted in the crew of an Irish plane experiencing serious control problems after take-off.

The incident, at Edinburgh Airport, Scotland, occurred on March 15, 2011, when an ATR72-200 turbo-prop plane, owned by Dublin-based Air Contractors Ireland, was taking off after undergoing maintenance.

The plane, with just a crew of two, was repositioning to Paris at the time of what investigators described as a "serious incident".

The pilots had to battle to regain control of their plane after it entered an "uncommanded roll to the left". The crew managed to ground the plane safely.

Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) inspectors had established early on that a critical part was incorrectly fitted in the rudder section of the aircraft during maintenance just prior to the flight.

The AAIB published its final report into the incident in its July bulletin. The report has concluded: "The incident was caused by the incorrect fitment of a cam on the rudder TLU mechanism."

The investigation also established that the required inspection of the work was not carried out.

The report also concluded that a contributory factor was the design of the TLU cams, which allowed them to be installed incorrectly.

An interim report, published soon after the incident, made three safety recommendations. Since the incident, the aircraft manufacturer and the engineering organisation have taken safety actions to minimise the possibility of a similar event happening.

Sunday Independent

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