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The pilot of the Cessna 441 reported that while checking the aircraft's flight controls during a pre-flight inspection, a rubbing sound was evident in the vicinity of the inboard section of the left aileron. The ailerons were capable of full deflection in the correct sense with no noticeable restriction of movement. After an inspection by the operator's chief pilot and the check and training pilot, the aircraft was deemed to be serviceable. A precautionary note was made in the aircraft's Maintenance Release for the aileron system to be inspected by the operator's maintenance organisation. The pilot then continued operating the aircraft. On return to the operator's main base at Jandakot, an inspection by maintenance personnel revealed that the aileron control cable was incorrectly rigged and fouling the airframe structure.

The BASI investigation revealed the following deficiencies:

  1. a maintenance oversight and inadequate procedures for the release of an aircraft after undergoing maintenance to the flight controls;
  2. sixty flying hours had elapsed since maintenance was last performed on the aileron control system. The defect was apparently not recognised during that time; and
  3. the flight crew did not consult with company engineering personnel for technical advice prior to commencing the flight.

During the BASI onsite investigation, the details of this occurrence, together with occurrences 9804343, 9900874 and 9900556, which identified similar deficiencies, were discussed with the operating company's management and staff. Concerns identified by the BASI team were translated into company recommended safety actions, which management undertook to implement. The company immediately introduced changes to the duplicate inspection procedures, and would introduce education and awareness safety notices regarding effective communication between flight and maintenance personnel. It would also emphasise the responsibilities incumbent on the crew when carrying out the daily inspection procedure. The implementation and effectiveness of these company initiatives will be monitored by BASI.

General details
Date: 11 February 1999 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1830 hours WST  
Location   (show map):Port Hedland, Aero. Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Flight control systems 
Release date: 08 December 1999 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 441 
Aircraft registration: VH-LFD 
Serial number: 4410164 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Port Hedland, WA
Departure time:1943 hours WST
Destination:Meekatharra, WA
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
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Last update 13 May 2014