Narrative:Continental Flight 1659 experienced a loss of control of the left aileron while departing from Newark. The captain stated that the airplane rolled to the left as soon as it became airborne. Considerable difficulty was experienced controlling the airplane, but when the flaps were retracted and full right aileron was applied, control was maintained with less difficulty. An in-flight visual inspection of the left aileron panel revealed the panel in the full up position. The crew elected to return to Newark. The captain reported that control became increasingly difficult during the approach to land when the flaps were extended from 15 degrees to 30 degrees. The captain said he used 30 degrees of flaps because of ice and snow on the runway at Newark. The captain reported that just before touchdown he needed full right aileron and a significant amount of left rudder to keep the airplane lined up with the runway. The airplane was landed without further incident, and none of the occupants were injured.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "Inadequate maintenance/inspection by company maintenance personnel, the manufacturer's inadequate inspection and/or replacement procedures for the aileron cables, and subsequent failure of the 'down' aileron control cable due to wear."
Follow-up / safety actions
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Newark International Airport, NJ to Greensboro/High Point-Piedmont Triad International Airport, NC as the crow flies is 712 km (445 miles).