NTSB Identification: CHI99IA115.
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Incident occurred Sunday, March 21, 1999 in GRAND RAPIDS, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-14, registration: N600ME
Injuries: 64 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

On two separate flights, the flight crews determined that the elevator would not respond to control input. During the first occurrence, the flight crew continued to fly the airplane using pitch trim and descended to a lower altitude where elevator control returned. During the second occurrence, the flight crew applied elevator backpressure until the elevator '...bump[ed} free and control was restored.' After the first occurrence, maintenance personnel found ice accretions in the elevator control bay of the vertical stabilizer. They also found debris obstructing the drain holes in this area. Maintenance personnel were unable to find any anomalies after the second occurrence. On both occasions, the airplane departed in rain showers with surface temperatures of 46 degrees (F) and 39 degrees (F) respectively.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:

the frozen elevator control. Factors were the rain and the low temperatures.

Full narrative available

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