Event Details

Title:Pitch-up moment, Fokker F28 Mark 0100, G-BYDN, 3 November 2000 at 1945 hrs
Micro summary:This Fokker F28 Mark 0100 experienced a pronounced pitch-up moment.
Event Time:2000-11-03 at 1945 UTC
File Name:2000-11-03-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/C2000/11/02
Site of event:Approach
Departure:Newcastle Airport, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, England
Destination:Charles De Gaulle International Airport (Roissy Airport), Paris, France
Airplane Type(s):Fokker F-28 Mark 0100
Flight Phase:Descent
Operator(s):Gill Airways
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:The aircraft was on the fifth rotation of the day flying between Newcastle (NCL) and Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG). The flight crew had flown the previous two sectors from NCL to CDG, returning to NCL and these had been uneventful. The First Officer (FO) was undergoing line training and was the handling pilot for the sector from NCL to CDG. The weather on departure was surface wind calm, visibility 40 km cloud few at 2,000 feet, few CB 3,000 feet, temperature +5C, dew point +3C and QNH 991 mb. The aircraft flew only briefly through the lower layer of cloud and did not enter the areas of CB. There were no visible signs of icing and no ice warning was activated.

The transit to Paris was made in cloudless conditions with clear skies during the descent and on arrival in CDG. The arrival was via the reporting point Merue and the aircraft was cleared to descend to FL 110 maintaining 280 kt. Autopilot 2 (AP2) was engaged and the aircraft was being navigated by the Flight Management System (FMS). The FO was using the vertical speed mode to adjust the flight path of the aircraft to arrive at the assigned level at Merue. The aircraft levelled at FL110 and turned onto the 100 radial for the VOR 'CRL'. At this point the aircraft began to gently oscillate in pitch and this increased with the aircraft gradually descending. The nose down pitch increased and the commander instructed the FO to de-select the autopilot, which he did and heard the 'cavalry charge' audio warning, which he cancelled. Taking manual control the FO found he had only approximately 2 cm of fore and aft control column movement, which rapidly reduced to having no movement at all in pitch control. The commander took control and confirmed the column had jammed and only by exerting a large aft force was he able to free the column to a limited extent and raise the nose of the aircraft, which was climbed back through FL 110. ATC called the aircraft to question the level excursions and were advised of the control difficulties. Both pilots had to maintain an increasing forward pressure on the control column and, given the deteriorating situation, the commander transmitted a Mayday distress call. At about this time autopilot 1 (AP1) was selected although subsequently neither pilot could recall making the selection or noticing the information on their display screen. ATC acknowledged the distress call and instructed the crew to 'turn right heading 120 and descend 3,000 feet 1002'

The aircraft now began to gently pitch up and the crew, in an effort to prevent this pitch up, pushed the control column forward. It is possible that a further speed selection reducing to 230 kt was made and the forward pressure needed on the control column took both pilots to hold it in the almost fully forward position. The commander instructed the cabin crew to move all the passengers to fill up the seats from the front to assist in pitching the aircraft down, and to prepare for an emergency landing. This was accomplished promptly and in an orderly manner. With the control column still nearly fully forward and the air speed at 232 kt the commander lowered the first stage of flap (8). It now became possible to reduce the forward pressure on the control column and the commander, having at various points throughout the incident tried to operate the electric trim with what appeared to be little effect, moved the manual trim wheel to try and trim the aircraft more nose down. The commander decided to land on Runway 27 Right, which was the nearest runway. He carried out a radar vectored ILS approach and made a normal landing at 1948 hrs with Flap 42. Reverse thrust was used to slow the aircraft. After landing the control column electric trim switch was operated it functioned normally
Learning Keywords:Operations - Upset - Uncommanded or excessive Pitch
Systems - INS/FMS/PMCS mis-entry
Close match:Tail strike on take-off and aircraft pitch-up on final approach, Air Canada, Airbus 330-343 C-GHLM, Frankfurt/Main Airport, Germany, 14 June 2002


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