Squawk Box

February 2010 Issue

Cracks And Malfunctions

The following information is derived from the FAA’s Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts.

During flight, the autopilot started to disconnect on the pilot. On the third attempt to engage the autopilot, the aircraft made a sudden, uncommanded 1500-fpm descent. The pilot used control-wheel steering and the autopilot disconnect button, but the autopilot would not disengage. He overpowered the autopilot to regain control; the autopilot remained on after he pulled the circuit breaker. He recycled the breaker and was successful in disconnecting the autopilot. The pilot also reported the electric trim switch seemed to work backwards. Maintenance personnel found water accumulated behind the rear curtain where the pitch servo is located.

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