Sunday, August 20, 2017

Pen Cap Causes Power Lever Problems for Caravan

Most of us pilots have dropped our pen and/or pen cap onto the floor of an airplane that we were flying. It is very important for you, when it is safe, to retrieve any item that has fallen onto the floor of the airplane.

That item has the possibility of causing major problems for you on that flight or one in the future. I have personally had a pen fall and roll behind the rudder pedal while I was taxiing, which prevented me from being able to fully steer the airplane on the ground. Luckily it did not prevent me from stopping the airplane. 

As you will read below, a pilot of a Cessna Caravan found himself unable to reduce the power to idle because of a pen cap that had fallen under the power quadrant.

It does not take a great imagination to think of different scenarios where that situation could have led to an accident.

As submitted to the FAA: "On short final, the pilot could not reduce power to idle. An emergency was declared but the flight landed without further incident. 

Maintenance personnel were unable to duplicate the problem. The pilot later reported the “binding throttle” recurred, though not as severe. 

A detailed inspection of all related linkages, cables and components found the power lever control aft linkage out of rig and a pen cap in the bottom of the throttle quadrant."

Luckily no one was hurt in that situation. It serves as a reminder to us to keep the cockpit tidy.

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