Flight Training - June 2020 - 24

PREFLIGHT ACCIDENT REPORT

BY DAN NAMOWITZ

CANTANKEROUS COMPONENTS
WHAT'S AILING THE AILERON?

ASYMMETRY IS NOT MY FAVORITE WORD IN ITS AVIATION

context. As a rule, the balanced approach is better. When
you deprive your aircraft's wings of lift when practicing stall entries and recoveries, the maneuver remains
orderly if you maintain coordinated flight, which avoids
a spin entry.
A pilot flying a two-engine airplane (one that has an
engine mounted on each wing) spends much of the training flying on just one engine while learning how to handle
the condition known as asymmetrical thrust. This state of
flight, if not managed carefully, can lead to the problems
I mentioned-with the aircraft's behavior made more
aggressive by having one engine thrusting the aircraft
forward while the other is
dragging it backward.
What asymmetrical flight
profiles might you face in
the aircraft you fly? I once
saw an entire private pilot
ground school class fall silent
after the instructor asked
the students to describe
how a single-engine trainer
would respond if only one
flap, say the left flap, came
down when the switch was
deployed.
Well, for starters the left
flap would increase the angle of attack-that is, it would
increase the lift-on the left wing relative to the right
wing, rolling the airplane to the right. More lift means
more (induced) drag from that down flap, so simultaneously with the right roll the airplane would yaw to the
left. Even sitting here at my desk thinking about it, I want
to push a right rudder pedal and roll out some of that
right bank, and maybe lower the nose just a bit to be on
the safe side.
Then what? Unless you can safely and successfully
retract the down flap, maneuvering for landing while
flying cross-controlled just to maintain control is going to
be complicated.
Ailerons don't move together like flaps but in opposite directions (in some cases, in different amounts) to
manage roll. But they, too, can become a cantankerous
component.
On May 2, 2019, a Cirrus SR20 single-engine airplane,
which had been airborne for about 32 minutes after

takeoff from Fort Worth Meacham International Airport,
was flying its fourth circuit of the traffic pattern of Texas's Mineral Wells Regional Airport when the pilot felt a
brief shudder while on the downwind leg, according to a
preliminary NTSB accident report.
The pilot and passenger noticed the right aileron
"fluttering," so the pilot immediately turned toward a
final approach-at which point the aileron came off the
airplane. According to the report, "The pilot reported
that he still had roll control of the airplane after the
right aileron separated and that an uneventful landing
was completed on Runway 31." The missing aileron was
recovered on the approach course about a half-mile from
the runway threshold and was retained
for further examination-along with
a hinge bolt and other components,
including a fractured strand of safety
wire, the report said.
Another anticlimactic occurrence
associated with an ailing aileron is a
vivid reminder that it is good practice
for pilots to have some awareness of the
maintenance status of the aircraft they
fly when trouble arises. On February 15,
2011, the right aileron of a Beechcraft
King Air E90 twin turboprop flew off
the wing during a turn at Flight Level
180 near Des Moines, Iowa. Again, the
airplane remained controllable and landed without
incident.
In this case the NTSB attributed the mishap involving
an aircraft just out of the repair shop to "improper installation of the right aileron by maintenance personnel."
Here's a question for the astute student pilot: Given
the accident-free, perfectly safe outcomes of the two
incidents described here, why did they both become the
subjects of NTSB accident reports?
The answer is that the scenario that occurred in both
evnets is a practical example of a situation covered by a
regulation you studied in ground school: The "immediate
reporting" requirement of NTSB Section 830.5 mandates
that the operator of a civil aircraft notify the nearest
National Transportation Safety Board office of an aircraft
accident, or a number of "listed serious incidents," one of
which is "flight control system malfunction or failure."

It is good practice
for pilots to have
some awareness of
the maintenance
status of the aircraft
they fly when
trouble arises.

24

FLIGHT TRAINING JUNE 2020

dan.namowitz@aopa.org



Flight Training - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - June 2020

Contents
Flight Training - June 2020 - Intro
Flight Training - June 2020 - Cover1
Flight Training - June 2020 - Cover2
Flight Training - June 2020 - Contents
Flight Training - June 2020 - 2
Flight Training - June 2020 - 3
Flight Training - June 2020 - 4
Flight Training - June 2020 - 5
Flight Training - June 2020 - 6
Flight Training - June 2020 - 7
Flight Training - June 2020 - 8
Flight Training - June 2020 - 9
Flight Training - June 2020 - 10
Flight Training - June 2020 - 11
Flight Training - June 2020 - 12
Flight Training - June 2020 - 13
Flight Training - June 2020 - 14
Flight Training - June 2020 - 15
Flight Training - June 2020 - 16
Flight Training - June 2020 - 17
Flight Training - June 2020 - 18
Flight Training - June 2020 - 19
Flight Training - June 2020 - 20
Flight Training - June 2020 - 21
Flight Training - June 2020 - 22
Flight Training - June 2020 - 23
Flight Training - June 2020 - 24
Flight Training - June 2020 - 25
Flight Training - June 2020 - 26
Flight Training - June 2020 - 27
Flight Training - June 2020 - 28
Flight Training - June 2020 - 29
Flight Training - June 2020 - 30
Flight Training - June 2020 - 31
Flight Training - June 2020 - 32
Flight Training - June 2020 - 33
Flight Training - June 2020 - 34
Flight Training - June 2020 - 35
Flight Training - June 2020 - 36
Flight Training - June 2020 - 37
Flight Training - June 2020 - 38
Flight Training - June 2020 - 39
Flight Training - June 2020 - 40
Flight Training - June 2020 - 41
Flight Training - June 2020 - 42
Flight Training - June 2020 - 43
Flight Training - June 2020 - 44
Flight Training - June 2020 - 45
Flight Training - June 2020 - 46
Flight Training - June 2020 - 47
Flight Training - June 2020 - 48
Flight Training - June 2020 - 49
Flight Training - June 2020 - 50
Flight Training - June 2020 - 51
Flight Training - June 2020 - 52
Flight Training - June 2020 - 53
Flight Training - June 2020 - 54
Flight Training - June 2020 - 55
Flight Training - June 2020 - 56
Flight Training - June 2020 - Cover3
Flight Training - June 2020 - Cover4
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