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Simulator training helps crew manage engine failure

Effective simulator training and robust failure management procedures proved invaluable to the passengers and crew of an early-morning Regional Express flight from Ballina, NSW, on 23 August 2016.

SAAB 340 aircraft

The SAAB 340 aircraft, comprising three crew and 22 passengers, suffered an engine failure shortly after take-off.

As the landing gear was retracting, the crew heard loud bangs and the left engine operation degraded, reducing the climb performance. Passengers alerted crew to flames coming from the affected engine.

Based on noises and engine instrument indications, the crew identified the issue as a compressor stall, and carried out the failure management procedure. The left engine was shut down and the first officer advised ATC that they had one engine inoperative.

The flight returned safely to Ballina, with no injuries to crew or passengers and no damage to the aircraft.

The two members of the flight crew said their simulator training, dealing with compressor stalls and one-engine-inoperative scenarios, had helped manage the situation. The captain also said the aircraft was easier to handle than the simulator.

Faced with an abnormal scenario, thanks to their training and robust procedures, the crew was able to manage a challenging situation efficiently and safely.

Read the ATSB investigation report AO-2016-104.


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Last update 23 November 2016