Eastham Aviation, a Houston owner of a Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1A, filed a complaint against Hawker Beechcraft on January 19, asking for the manufacturer to take back the jet because of three alleged and irreparable instances of runaway rudder trim. Eastham purchased the jet in 2006.
Fairchild (M7 Aerospace is the current TC holder) Metro III, Somerset, Ky., Jan. 2, 2010–The twin turboprop was substantially damaged after it skidded off the runway, went down an embankment and hit the airport boundary fence. According to the pilot, the aircraft’s nosewheel locked during the landing roll, causing the aircraft to veer to the right. The pilot applied full left rudder, but he was unable to regain control.
Hawker Beechcraft Beech 1900D, St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 7, 2008–The empennage of the Great Lakes Aviation 1900 struck a building overhang while parking at its gate at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, aided by a marshaler and a wing walker. The vertical stabilizer was twisted and the rudder and the right side of the elevator were wrinkled. No one was injured.
As analysts and pundits debated the merits and launch prospects of Bombardier’s C Series airliner, the Canadian manufacturer quietly went about its business readying yet another version of its CRJ series for first flight.
As an outgrowth of its continuing investigation into the November 12 crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in New York City, the NTSB has recommended that the FAA order manufacturers and operators of transport-category airplanes to revamp pilot-training programs with regard to rudder use.
The NTSB is investigating whether a rudder problem caused a United Boeing 737 to swing suddenly left and right and bank sharply while descending for landing in Chicago late last month. The pilots reported the airplane suddenly swung to the left and right when it started to descend at about 9,000 ft msl. When the autopilot was disconnected, the airplane banked sharply. Rudder problems are suspected in two fatal U.S.
Boeing completed a redesign of a 737 rudder control system and, as expected, the FAA formally proposed an AD that will require the installation of the system on some 2,000 Boeing 737-100s, -200s, -300s and -400s within a five-year period.
Marion Blakey took over the National Transportation Safety Board as its ninth chairman just in time to enter the maelstrom surrounding last November’s crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in New York. Through frequent media briefings in the days following the accident, she helped allay the fears of an American public–still jittery over air travel–that the crash was caused by another terrorist attack.
An AD issued last month requires the installation of a new rudder-control system on all U.S.-registered Boeing 737s before Nov. 12, 2008. An October 8 directive (AD 2002-20-07) stems from the investigation into two fatal accidents and a reported rudder event attributed, in part, to an uncommanded rudder hardover, rudder reversal or jammed rudder. Parts are expected to cost Boeing about $140,000 per aircraft.
Piaggio Avanti, Battle Mountain, Nev., Dec. 7, 2007–The NTSB blamed the accident on the flight crew’s failure to follow published procedures while landing the Avanti. On approach the airplane broke out at 750 feet and made a normal touchdown on a wet runway. The pilot engaged the nosewheel steering just below 60 knots indicated, and the airplane started into an abrupt left turn.