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On 25 November 2009, an Ayres Corporation S2RT341 aircraft, registered VH-NZB (Figure 1), was being operated on a ferry flight from Parkes, New South Wales (NSW) to Batchelor, Northern Territory (NT), with an initial intermediate stop at Longreach, Queensland (Qld). While on final approach to Longreach, without warning, the aircraft's nose pitched upward and an aerodynamic stall resulted. The pilot, the sole occupant, regained control and the aircraft landed safely.

A subsequent engineering investigation by the aircraft's maintenance provider determined that the elevator push rods had been fitted in the reverse order during recent maintenance, thus restricting the amount of nose down elevator travel available to the pilot.

The maintenance organisation advised the ATSB that, as a result of this occurrence, it has initiated a number of safety actions, including:

  • exploring options for modifying the design of the bellcrank assembly to ensure that the push rods can only be fitted in the correct position
  • ensuring that all employees are aware of their responsibilities when conducting dual maintenance inspections on flight control systems.

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General details
Date: 25 November 2009 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1151 EST  
Location   (show map):Longreach Aerodrome Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 20 April 2010 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Ayres Corporation 
Aircraft model: S2R 
Aircraft registration: VH-NZB 
Serial number: T34-024DC 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
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Last update 14 November 2018