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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 253766
Last updated: 13 May 2021
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Time:08:25 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic ATP model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
British Aerospace ATP-F(LFD)
Owner/operator:West Air Sweden
Registration: SE-MAO
MSN: 2011
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:near Guernsey, Channel Islands -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Jersey-States Airport, Channel Islands (JER/EGJJ)
Destination airport:Guernsey Airport, Channel Islands (GCI/EGJB)
Investigating agency: AAIB
The aircraft departed from Jersey’s runway 26 at 08:17 hrs for a short flight (SWN424) to Guernsey, with the co-pilot as pilot flying (PF). It levelled at 2,000 ft amsl and tracked towards the Guernsey VOR (GUR), with an airspeed of around 200 KIAS. ATC had issued a right turn on to heading 340° when the crew experienced a "jolt" accompanied by a roll to the left, which was corrected by the autopilot. A second "jolt" disengaged the autopilot, generating a continuous ‘cavalry charge’ audio warning. The co-pilot silenced the warning and took manual control of the aircraft. She intended to continue turning right but found it difficult because the aircraft was "pushing to the left". She said "i’m just giving everything i have to just hold it steady". Her speech appeared calm with no evidence of physical strain, and she was able to comprehend the commander’s instructions, with no need for him to repeat anything.

The commander transmitted "could you just give us some delaying vectors, just for a little bit, got a minor issue we need to sort out" to ATC.

They issued a heading of 070°, taking the aircraft through Guernsey’s runway 27 centreline to the north. The crew slowed the aircraft to 180 KIAS which reduced the abnormal control forces. When the aircraft was flying straight, the commander tried controlling it from his side but experienced the same forces. He subsequently described the aircraft as being "fully controllable but need[ing] a lot of right input". Both crew members agreed that the co-pilot would resume flying the aircraft, enabling the commander to manage the technical issue.

The commander recalled that other indications around the flight deck appeared normal, and the flying control trims were indicating neutral positions.

The commander reported a "slight control problem, nothing major, nothing serious" to ATC and, for controllability reasons, requested left turns to establish on the ILS localiser.

He prepared the aircraft for a manually-flown ILS using the flight director, and advised ATC to expect a normal approach and landing. After operating the aileron trim in an attempt to alleviate the abnormal control forces, the co-pilot commented "i think that’s better".

The commander checked the co-pilot was content to continue as PF and led an approach brief, mentioning the ramifications of abnormal control forces in the event of a go-around.

The crew recalled descending out of cloud at around 1,500 ft amsl. After becoming fully established on the ILS, the flight director modes failed and could not be re-selected. The co-pilot continued flying the ILS using raw data, with the commander making standard callouts to assist with the flightpath. The aircraft landed at 08:31 hrs and taxied to stand normally. The total flight time was 14 minutes.

After the aircraft’s engines had been shut down, the co-pilot reported that the flying controls felt normal.

As the aircraft levelled-off at 2,000 ft and 200 KIAS, there were two uncommanded left rolls and the autopilot automatically disengaged. The crew found it harder to turn the control wheels to the right, but they maintained control of the aircraft and, although the flight director failed during the approach, they made an uneventful landing in Guernsey.

Extensive testing on the aircraft did not identify the cause, but the operator replaced several components as a precautionary measure. Subsequent component testing found no anomalies that could be definitively associated with the incident, although it did identify issues relating to equipment maintenance and testing. The operator has addressed these through appropriate safety action, and they reported that there been no recurrences since the aircraft returned to service.


AAIB Final Report:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

22 May 2020 SE-MAO West Air Europe 0 Birmingham International Airport (EGBB) non
Runway excursion.


Photo of SE-MAO courtesy

Nottingham - East Midlands (EGNX / EMA)
26 September 2019; (c) Don Bennett

Revision history:

21-Apr-2021 18:21 harro Added
21-Apr-2021 18:23 harro Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Narrative]
13-May-2021 15:49 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description