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01 Jun 2016 - Final report issued for LN-RPA 737-600 excessive elevator control Forces on approach

The Norweigan SHT have just issued their final report into the incident of 737-600, LN-RPA operated by SAS at Oslo Gardermoen on 25 March 2015.

SUMMARY: Upon approach to Gardermoen airport it was necessary to use greater force than normal on the elevator control when landing. The landing was completed without any other problems. This incident alone can not elaborate any further on this issue.

The report describes how a normal autopilot ILS approach was flown. After disengaging the autopilot at 700ft the Captain felt the elevator control was abnormal. When he attempted to flare the aircraft at 20ft the aircraft did not respond to the nose-up pitch input, and the captain had to use “considerable” force – some 580N (130lb) – to “break loose” the elevator. This is approximately four times the 120-160N force normally needed.

The report noted that the aircraft had been de-iced that morning and that a large amount of de-icing fluid was found on elevator balance panels.

AIBN has initiated a thematic investigation of incidents where there has been necessary to use greater force than normal on the elevator controls of Boeing 737NG aircrafts. The investigation will look at the extent of such incidents and potential explanations.

No safety recommendation is issued in connection with this investigation.

The full report (in Norwegian) is available for download here.

See related investigation to LN-DYM here.

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*** Updated 14 Nov 2021 ***

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Plot of elevator force vs altitude on final approach Photo:Norweigan AIBN

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