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Interim report into pitch disconnect released

ATR aircraft on approach to land

As a result of the investigation into a Virgin Australia Regional Airlines flight sustaining a pitch disconnect while on descent into Sydney, the ATSB has identified a safety issue that needed to be highlighted before this investigation is completed.

  • Inadvertent application of opposing pitch control inputs by flight crew can activate the pitch uncoupling mechanism which, in certain high-energy situations, can result in catastrophic damage to the aircraft structure before crews are able to react.

This interim report provides only the factual information and analysis associated with the identified safety issue and complements information already provided on an update on the ATSB website on 10 June 2014. New evidence may become available as the investigation progresses that will enhance the ATSB’s understanding of the occurrence.

Interim investigation report AO-2014-032

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Last update 05 July 2016