ATR 42/72

TYPE : 72 (probably 42 also)

NUMBER / ORIGIN / DATE : 001 / E-mail / 010598


A report has just been received regarding loss of elevator control due to accumulation of de/antice fluid in the tailplane assembly. We hope to have a technical description shortly. THIS IS APPARENTLY A KNOWN PROBLEM !!!. It has been suggested it may be worth ensuring that de/antice fluids are only sprayed on the surfaces, ensuring no prolonged applications are directed at the centre fin/tail mechanism. Ensure full and free movement prior to despatch. Expect increased elevator resistance as fluid runs back during acceleration during T/O roll.

TYPE : 42/72

NUMBER / ORIGIN / DATE : 002 / E-mail / 110598

REPORTED x 1 (Refers to above - ed)


As described in the aircraft documentation the de-icing with type 2 fluid has some effects on the force that pilots have to exert to rotate the aircraft. This effect has been discovered and quantified during tests that have been performed to qualify the type 2 fluid for ATR family.
We noticed that during the flow off of the fluid that occured near or at Vr, the gap between the stabilizer and the elevator could be partially and momentarily obstructed by the fluid. The aerodynamic balance of the elevator is altered by this phenomenum leading to a significant increase of forces to lift the aeroplane. There have been 3 reported incidents of this occuring in Europe this winter (97/98). A revision is being considered to the proceedure to applying deicing/anti-icing fluid. It will be asked to perform the deicing/anti-icing of the aircraft with the elevator in pitch down position, stick pushed fully forward. Cautions that have to be taken to deice the gap between the horizontal stabilizer and the elevator will be outlined.

With some anti-icing fluids the flow off on the upper surface of the tail occurs at rotation speed and is triggered by the elevator deflection (shear forces on the fluid layer due to airspeed plus suction effect due to the gap between the stabilizer and the elevator). The fluid flowing through the gap alters the aerodynamic balance of the elevator: the aerodynamic force acting on the elevator, forward of the hinge line is reduced: this results in an increase of the pilot force needed to keep the elevator deflected (partial loss of the offsetted hinge line effect). The additional lift due to the elevator deflection being mainly produced on the stabilizer leading edge, the effect of the gap obstruction on the total lift of the surface is minor (no significant efficiency loss). Normal pilot force is 40lb to obtain minimum rotational deflection. This force can need to be more than doubled when this effect occurs.
The threshold of the pitch disconnect mechanism is set at about 50 daN, that means it must have a difference of this value between left and right elevator to get the activation of the clutch. FDR evaluation of these incidents did not show a risk of disconnection of this system.

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