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ATSB warns of “catastrophic” potential of ATR pitch disconnect

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  • TomcatViP
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Nov 2011
    • 6049

    ATSB warns of “catastrophic” potential of ATR pitch disconnect

    ATR-600 risk of pitch disconnect with reverse control action

    In its June 2014 preliminary report, the ATSB said that the aircraft (VH-FVR) suffered overstress damage to its tailplane during a flight on 20 February 2014, but an overnight inspection failed to detect the damage. The aircraft then flew 13 additional sectors before pitch control anomalies were detected on 25 February, after which an inspection following a suspected bird strike discovered structural damage.

    A fresh interim report, using flight data recorder information, reveals a crucial new detail: at one point during the 20 February incident the captain made a nose-up input, while the first officer made a nose-down input. This caused a “pitch disconnect” that damaged the aircraft’s tailplane.
    Notice that Thales build the new specific ATR 600 avionic as a modular cross platform system vaunting the communality with late Airbus models (this include the A380)

    Thales started work on the new ATR 72-600 in 2007, and has implemented a host of innovations, bringing technology developed for the A380 to regional aviation. In total, each aircraft incorporates 69 different Thales fittings.
    Concerning the ATR incident, the ATSB is really specific:

    The ATSB summarises the safety issue as such: “Inadvertent application of opposing pitch control inputs by flight crew can activate the pitch uncoupling mechanism which, in certain high-energy situations, can result in catastrophic damage to the aircraft structure before crews are able to react.”
    Let's be imaginative: couldn't this be associated with experienced crew "rebooting" the trim-auto computer? ...

    Last edited by TomcatViP; 15th June 2016, 23:43.

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