Human Factors: Sometimes it’s the little things
Following a lengthy and expensive annual inspection, the pilot-owner of a Piper PA-31P — the pressurized version of the twin-engine Navajo — is preparing to depart Myrtle Beach Airport (KMYR) in South Carolina for his home base of Grand Strand Airport (KCRE), a mere 12 miles up the coast.
It’s a lovely Friday evening in late May of 2021. The sky is clear, it’s 75°, and there’s a 10-knot breeze off the ocean.
But the airplane, and its pilot, will never see their destination — because two small pieces of the airplane’s flight controls, after having been removed for service, have been re-installed incorrectly.