The two pilots of an Avantair Piaggio P180 Avanti II that landed at the Henderson Executive airport in Nevada the morning of 28 July discovered during a post-flight check that the twin turboprop's left elevator was missing.
The finding came after a positioning flight of N146SL from Camarillo, California, to San Diego, followed by a Part 91 fractional flight from San Diego to Henderson with two passengers on board.
According to a preliminary report by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the crew reported that they had a "non-eventful departure and flight from San Diego, and that the captain noticed that more back pressure on the flight controls was required for a normal landing upon arrival at Henderson".
NTSB says airport personnel at Camarillo on July 31 found the missing left elevator "near one of the runways".
A pusher aircraft, the Avanti II has a canard horizontal stabiliser surface with retractable flaps on the nose and a fixed horizontal T-tail stabilizer in the rear with left and right elevators.
Avantair says the aircraft suffered no damage as a result of the event, which the NTSB has classified as an accident. The company expected the aircraft to resume service by 4 August.