Mechanics Pressured to Take Shortcuts: CBS Report

gotWXdagain

Highly Visible Member
Even deeper dive, what kind of logic did the FAA use in approving a type design in which a primary and secondary flight control relied on a component with a no-redundancy, single-point-of-failure?
Further, why did their “jammed stabilizer” procedure allow them to attempt to fix the jam, or was there no written procedure and they attempted to do so anyway?
 
Further, why did their “jammed stabilizer” procedure allow them to attempt to fix the jam, or was there no written procedure and they attempted to do so anyway?
That's a fair point. If you have a wonky, unknown flight control issue, and the plane is at all controllable, it's probably best to leave it alone and land as soon as possible. The likelihood of fixing a rigging or structural issue from the cockpit is probably zero. The likelihood of aggravating such an isssue from the cockpit is probably reasonably high.

The family of the pilot of the 414 that crashed in Indiana last year would probably agree. That pilot had trim issues just after takeoff. After flying about randomly at low altitude in proximity to the departure airport, he apparently thought he had the issues sorted and elected to climb to altitude before the problem emerged again. If he had just immediately returned and landed, he'd probably be here to tell his story. RIP.

That said, I don't think the Alaska pilots even knew generally what was causing the problem was until it was too late. As I recall (it's been awhile) the plane developed nose down yoke pressure, and the crew instinctually trimmed to relieve it. They were just trying to get the pressure off the yoke and keep the plane from diving. It seems that could become a real sticky problem real fast. I mean, what's the probability of a trim motor failing (revert to manual trim and everything is Jake) vs the probably of the jackscrew Alpha bolt being completely stripped to one thread (you revert to manual trim and toast the whole trim capability)? Overall, it seemed their inclination was pretty conservative as far as messing with stuff, yet at the same time, they wanted to be able to control the aircraft. I can only hope none of us have to face a similar situation.
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
Further, why did their “jammed stabilizer” procedure allow them to attempt to fix the jam, or was there no written procedure and they attempted to do so anyway?
They went far off script while collaborating in flight with a maintenance person which led to the eventual loss of control if I remember correctly.

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knot4u

Repeat Offender
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