On June 19, 1997, about 1735 eastern daylight time, a Beech 1900D, N165YV, operated by Mesa Airlines, Inc., as Air Shuttle flight 5974, received minor damage during flap extension while on final approach to the Benedum Airport, Clarksburg, West Virginia. The certificated airline transport pilot-in-command and copilot were not injured. No passengers were on board. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the scheduled passenger flight that originated at Parkersburg, West Virginia, about 1710. An instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 121.

According to the pilot-in-command (PIC), the flaps were lowered to 35 degrees while on final approach to runway 21. The PIC noted considerable aileron binding as the flaps traveled to 35 degrees, and at the same time heard a snap under the floor of the cockpit. He observed that the flap indicator displayed 35 degrees of flaps. After landing, the PIC requested that the copilot not retract the flaps. The airplane was then taxied to the terminal where the flap damage was noted.

Examination of the airplane by Mesa Airlines maintenance personnel revealed that the right outboard flap became detached from the flap aft roller bearings, at the inboard flap track. The flap was in contact with the aileron, interfering with aileron control.

The Raytheon Aircraft Company published a Safety Communique, during May, 1997. The Communique dealt with the inspection of the outboard flap attachment brackets and aft roller bearings of Beech 1900 series airplanes. The incident airplane was scheduled to have the inspection complied with during the next 30 days. The airplane had accumulated about 3,317 flight hours and 7,069 landings.

An inspection of the remainder of the Mesa fleet of Beech 1900D airplanes was accomplished per the Beech Safety Communique. The inspection revealed eight additional airplanes failed the inspection criteria that were not yet to the assigned number of cycles specified in the Communique.

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