Aviation safety issues and actions

Maintenance requirements following an in-flight pitch disconnect

Issue number: AO-2014-032-SI-07
Who it affects: All operators of ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft
Issue owner: ATR
Transport function: Aviation: Air transport
Background: Investigation Report AO-2014-032
Issue release date: 24 May 2019
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB considers that the action taken by ATR addresses this safety issue.    

Safety issue description

The aircraft manufacturer, ATR, did not provide a maintenance inspection to specifically assess the effect of an in-flight pitch disconnect on the structural integrity of the horizontal stabilisers. As a result, if an in-flight pitch disconnect occurred, the aircraft may not be inspected at a level commensurate with the criticality of the event.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2014-032-NSA-055
Action organisation: ATR
Date: 24 May 2019
Action status: Closed

In September 2015, ATR issued a new job instruction card (JIC 55-10-00-DVI-10000) ‘DVI of Horizontal to Vertical Junction’ to be complied with following an in-flight pitch disconnect. This required use of an access platform to remove panels and conduct a detailed visual inspection of the tailplane attachment fittings and structural components. ATR also revised JIC 27-31-42-REA-10000 so that re-clutching of the pitch uncoupling mechanism would require conduct of the new JIC.  

In February 2016, ATR issued an All Operators Message (AOM: 42/72/2016/03 issue 1) to advise of the release of new maintenance documentation such as JIC 55-10-00-DVI-10000 related to in-flight pitch disconnect occurrences. ATR recommended that operators familiarise themselves with the updated maintenance documentation.    

Last update 24 May 2019