|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 3000|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : zzz.tracon|
|Make Model Name||PA-28 Cherokee/Archer II/Dakota/Pillan/Warrior|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||cruise : level|
|Function||instruction : instructor|
|Qualification||pilot : multi engine|
pilot : instrument
pilot : commercial
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 1115
flight time type : 150
|Function||instruction : trainee|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
other flight crewb
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
flight crew : landed in emergency condition
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
On a CFI candidate training flight; the pitch control of the aircraft became noticeably heavier for unknown reasons. This was the third flight of the day for this aircraft; which had been used earlier in the day for pattern work for approximately 2 hours. Upon reconfiguring the aircraft after practicing 'slow flight;' the aircraft pitch control became increasingly heavier. We thought that the trim might have become stuck in a 'nose up' position. The student stated to myself (the instructor) that the controls felt heavy and that a larger than normal amount of forward yoke pressure was necessary to maintain level flight; even though he had adjusted the trim back to a normal position for an increasing airspeed. I felt the controls and glanced at the trim which was set slightly in the 'nose down' position and checked the controls and also agreed that the aircraft needed more forward pressure than normal. The student (CFI candidate) and I both initially thought that the aircraft trim might have gotten stuck slightly nose up. Upon adjusting the trim more 'nose down' the aircraft controls still felt heavy and the aircraft needed forward pressure to maintain level flight. At this point; I declared an emergency with ZZZ departure as I was unsure what was causing the controls to feel substantially heavier; and the aircraft control pressure should have been relieved by the amount of nose down trim that we had inputted. I proceeded to the ZZZ airport. As the aircraft slowed down to an approach speed; it was noted that the control pressures began to feel normal and the aircraft handled normal during the landing flare. After initial inspection from aircraft maintenance on field; there was no apparent problem with the aircraft trim wheel or trim tab. Maintenance was unable to duplicate the problem. As a precaution; maintenance further investigated the problem and noted that a few of the elevator pulleys were aged. Although still functional; the mechanic recommended that the pulleys be replaced since they appeared to be the original on the 1976 aircraft. The flight school chose to replace those pulleys.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: INSTRUCTOR AND CFI STUDENT PLT DECLARE EMERGENCY WHEN PITCH CONTROL OF PA28 FEELS HEAVY AND EXCESSIVELY SLUGGISH IN RESPONSE.
Narrative: ON A CFI CANDIDATE TRAINING FLT; THE PITCH CTL OF THE ACFT BECAME NOTICEABLY HEAVIER FOR UNKNOWN REASONS. THIS WAS THE THIRD FLT OF THE DAY FOR THIS ACFT; WHICH HAD BEEN USED EARLIER IN THE DAY FOR PATTERN WORK FOR APPROX 2 HRS. UPON RECONFIGURING THE ACFT AFTER PRACTICING 'SLOW FLT;' THE ACFT PITCH CTL BECAME INCREASINGLY HEAVIER. WE THOUGHT THAT THE TRIM MIGHT HAVE BECOME STUCK IN A 'NOSE UP' POS. THE STUDENT STATED TO MYSELF (THE INSTRUCTOR) THAT THE CTLS FELT HVY AND THAT A LARGER THAN NORMAL AMOUNT OF FORWARD YOKE PRESSURE WAS NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN LEVEL FLT; EVEN THOUGH HE HAD ADJUSTED THE TRIM BACK TO A NORMAL POS FOR AN INCREASING AIRSPD. I FELT THE CTLS AND GLANCED AT THE TRIM WHICH WAS SET SLIGHTLY IN THE 'NOSE DOWN' POS AND CHKED THE CTLS AND ALSO AGREED THAT THE ACFT NEEDED MORE FORWARD PRESSURE THAN NORMAL. THE STUDENT (CFI CANDIDATE) AND I BOTH INITIALLY THOUGHT THAT THE ACFT TRIM MIGHT HAVE GOTTEN STUCK SLIGHTLY NOSE UP. UPON ADJUSTING THE TRIM MORE 'NOSE DOWN' THE ACFT CTLS STILL FELT HVY AND THE ACFT NEEDED FORWARD PRESSURE TO MAINTAIN LEVEL FLT. AT THIS POINT; I DECLARED AN EMER WITH ZZZ DEP AS I WAS UNSURE WHAT WAS CAUSING THE CTLS TO FEEL SUBSTANTIALLY HEAVIER; AND THE ACFT CTL PRESSURE SHOULD HAVE BEEN RELIEVED BY THE AMOUNT OF NOSE DOWN TRIM THAT WE HAD INPUTTED. I PROCEEDED TO THE ZZZ ARPT. AS THE ACFT SLOWED DOWN TO AN APCH SPD; IT WAS NOTED THAT THE CTL PRESSURES BEGAN TO FEEL NORMAL AND THE ACFT HANDLED NORMAL DURING THE LNDG FLARE. AFTER INITIAL INSPECTION FROM ACFT MAINT ON FIELD; THERE WAS NO APPARENT PROB WITH THE ACFT TRIM WHEEL OR TRIM TAB. MAINT WAS UNABLE TO DUPLICATE THE PROB. AS A PRECAUTION; MAINT FURTHER INVESTIGATED THE PROB AND NOTED THAT A FEW OF THE ELEVATOR PULLEYS WERE AGED. ALTHOUGH STILL FUNCTIONAL; THE MECH RECOMMENDED THAT THE PULLEYS BE REPLACED SINCE THEY APPEARED TO BE THE ORIGINAL ON THE 1976 ACFT. THE FLT SCHOOL CHOSE TO REPLACE THOSE PULLEYS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of May 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.