Final Report: Maintenance errors on Beech 1900s

 - December 19, 2007, 12:10 PM

RAYTHEON BEECH 1900D, ALBANY, N.Y., OCT. 16, 2003–During the takeoff roll of a Beech 1900, operated by CommutAir as Continental Connection Flight 8718, the flight crew was unable to rotate the airplane and aborted the takeoff uneventfully. Examination revealed that when the elevator trim wheel in the cockpit was positioned to neutral, the elevator trim was actually in the full nose-down position. The elevator trim wheel could not be physically moved lower than three units of nose-up trim.

The NTSB said the probable cause of this incident was improper maintenance by the technician and his failure to perform a functional check, which resulted in a restricted movement of the elevator trim wheel. Factors were the captain’s inadequate preflight inspection and insufficient information in the manufacturer’s maintenance manual.

The incident flight was the first flight after maintenance in which the elevator trim wheel had been removed and reinstalled. The maintenance technician did not index the trim wheel when he removed it and reinstalled the trim wheel incorrectly. When the captain performed a preflight inspection of the airplane, he did not set the elevator trim wheel to the setting prescribed on the preflight checklist, and he failed to detect the error.

In August, the NTSB blamed the fatal crash of a Colgan Air Beech 1900 last year on the mechanics’ misrigging an elevator trim cable, which caused the elevator trim tabs to move in opposite directions. A misrigged control cable caused another fatal crash of a Beech 1900D January 8 in Charlotte, N.C., said the NTSB.