Flying Control FOD: Screwdriver Found in C208 Controls

Flying Control FOD: Srcewdriver Found in C208 Controls

An Australian Cessna 208B Caravan pilot detected a control restriction during a flight control rigging check according to a Service Difficult Report (SDR) submitted to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).  The report described how the pilot:

…checked full and free movement of all flight controls. Very slight friction or binding of the elevator control was identified.

The issue was discussed with the LAME [Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer] who investigated further and discovered an object wedged between the control column shroud and the control column attaching cables.

FOD Just Visible in the Inspection Mirror (Credit: via CASA)

FOD Just Visible in the Inspection Mirror (Credit: via CASA)

The shroud was removed and a screw driver was found.

The Trapped Screwdriver (Credit: via CASA)

The Trapped Screwdriver (Credit: via CASA)

CASA do not report any investigation results that explain the lost tool.  Even when such information is available, it is very easy to fall for the fundamental attribution error that the personnel in a particular incident were ‘stupid’ or ‘unprofessional’ without considering the organisational environment and the circumstances they found themselves in.

We have previously discussed these FOD events:

Plus we have discussed maintenance human factors and error management more generally here:

Aerossurance has extensive air safety, operations, airworthiness, human factors, aviation regulation and safety analysis experience.  For practical aviation advice you can trust, contact us at: enquiries@aerossurance.com