Accidents: Control rigging error examined in Convair crash

 - July 1, 2009, 6:35 AM

Convair CV-580, Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 1, 2008–The turboprop airliner, registered as N587X and operated by Air Tahoma, was destroyed when it crashed soon after takeoff while attempting a return to Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK). The flight was the airplane’s first following a maintenance phase 1 and phase 2 check that included flight control rigging. It had just departed from Runway 5L en route to Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport when ATC was informed that it needed to return to LCK. The airplane crashed in a cornfield about one mile southwest of the approach end of Runway 5L, killing the pilot, copilot and an observer pilot.
Examination of the phase 1 and phase 2 cards used to conduct the phase inspection completed two weeks before the accident revealed that the inspector’s block on numerous checks was not signed off by the required inspection item (RII) inspector. The phase 2 card also contained a note, which stated in bold type, “A complete inspection of all elevator controls must be accomplished and signed off by an
RII qualified inspector and a logbook entry made to this effect.” Inspection of
the accident wreckage revealed that the airplane’s elevator trim cables were reversed. As a result, when the pilot applied nose-up trim, the elevator trim system actually applied nose-down trim.