Report On 2018 Small Aircraft Crash Released

April 29, 2019

A report released following an investigation into the crash of a Cessna 172M Skyhawk II at the L.F. Wade International Airport in April 2018 stated “the drive chain for the elevator trim actuator had been fitted incorrectly, which resulted in the elevator trim tab moving in the opposite sense to the movement of the trim wheel”.

Emergency personnel rushed to the airport after a small aircraft crashed while landing on April 30th 2018, resulting in the pilot sustaining what officials said were “non life threatening injuries” and the airfield being temporarily closed down.

Photo slideshow of the crash scene:


The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch [AAIB] said in a summary that “Shortly after takeoff the aircraft exhibited a tendency to pitch nose down despite the application of NOSE UP trim.

“During the subsequent approach to land, the forces required to maintain the approach path increased to the point where the pilot could no longer control the glidepath and the aircraft struck the ground short of the runway.

Aircraft being towed off the runway in 2018:

“The investigation found that the drive chain for the elevator trim actuator had been fitted incorrectly, which resulted in the elevator trim tab moving in the opposite sense to the movement of the trim wheel.

“The maintenance organisation has introduced procedures to ensure that duplicate inspections of all flight critical systems are carried out following maintenance.”

Read the full AAIB report below [PDF]:

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Category: Accidents and fires, All, News

Comments (9)

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  1. Nerd Life says:

    Does this mechanic also work for Boeing? #MCAS

  2. chartie says:

    Whoa. That is messed up. Would not trust the “Bermuda based maintenance organisation” again, ever.

    • Slippage says:

      Actually the organization has taken steps to prevents this kind of error from being repeated. This is how it should work- learn from mistakes.

  3. Real Deal says:

    sigh there goes the clean sheet

  4. legalgal says:

    Why is the maintenance organisation not named? Presumably action will be taken against them?

  5. Slippage says:

    The report actually places responsibility for the crash in three places. The mechanic who did not follow the manufacture’s instructions to the letter. The company who did the repairs should have had the work checked since it concerned critical flight controls. Finally, the pilot was not intimately familiar with the aircraft and did not have much recent flight time. All three of these factors contributed to the loss of the aircraft and the closure of the airport for several hours.

    • question says:

      That’s not how I read it. The caused the accident was the incredibly dangerous work that had been done on the aircraft.

  6. Scott says:

    Although it is indeed a major mess up on the part of the maintenance team, there is a part of pre-flight checklists that goes over “Flight controls: Free and correct”, where the pilot in command should check that all surfaces move as they are meant to.

    Unfortunately the checklist only briefly notes that trim should be checked for free movement(not necessarily that the trim surface is actually moving the correct way).

    Hindsight is 20/20, so although the pilot didn’t cause the accident, there was an unfortunate oversight by the pilot that could easily have prevented it, and in that regard there is some responsibility.

    Remember though AAIB reports don’t apportion blame as we, they simply mention all parties that played a part in(or could have prevented) an accident, to avoid it happening again.