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NTSB Prelim: Bent Elevator Makes For Wild Ride

Embraer EMB-120 Landed Safely After Pitch Excursion Incident

The crew of an Embarer EMB-120 on a cargo flight had a pretty wild ride on February 16th. On approach to Iliamna, AK, the airplane suddenly pitched down 20 degrees .... twice. Fortunately the pilot was able to recover and land the airplane safely, but what they found on a post-flight inspection will likely surprise you.

File Photo

NTSB Identification: DCA12FA042
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Incident occurred Thursday, February 16, 2012 in Iliamna, AK
Aircraft: EMBRAER EMB120, registration: N1110J
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On February 16, 2012, at about 1308 local time, an Embraer EMB-120, registration N1110J, operated as cargo flight 1291 by Everts Air Cargo, experienced an uncommanded pitch down while descending into Iliamna Airport, Alaska.

The captain reported that the flight from Anchorage had been otherwise uneventful until, during the descent at about 250 knots airspeed with his hands on the controls and the autopilot engaged, the airplane pitched to about 20 degrees nose down. The captain reported he then disconnected the autopilot and adjusted the pitch trim in the airplane nose down direction while pulling back on the column to recover from the pitch excursion.

The flight crew declared an emergency, and at about 200 knots airspeed, the airplane pitched down a second time while the captain was hand flying as he continued the descent into Iliamna airport. The captain elected to make a high speed, flaps up landing and landed on runway 35.

Post-flight inspection revealed that the left elevator was bent at the mid span trim tab, had partially detached from the aircraft, and was missing two attachment bolts.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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