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Crew praised for emergency landing

Education and training helped the crew of a Fokker F28 MK 100 manage two emergencies, including a hydraulic failure that compromised nose-wheel steering.

Fokker aircraft emergency evacuation routes

The crew’s response ultimately ensured the safe landing, taxiing and subsequent evacuation of 97 passengers, three cabin crew and two flight crew on a Newman to Perth flight on 23 September 2016.

About 550 km north of Perth, the flight crew were alerted to the issue resulting from the hydraulic failure. They arranged for assistance to be available at Perth airport to tow the aircraft from the runway to the gate.

The flight crew notified Air Traffic Control of the fault and discussed the implications of the failure. Without nose-wheel steering, they planned to land the aircraft on runway 21 at Perth Airport and roll through to the end of the runway, where a pre-positioned tug would tow it to the allocated gate for passenger disembarkation.

Rather than use the engines for electrical power and air-conditioning during the aircraft tow, the captain elected to start the auxiliary power unit (APU) during the approach. The APU would then supply air for the air-conditioning system after landing and electrical power after the engines were shut down.

The aircraft landed without further incident and rolled through to the end of runway 21.

Despite the pre-arrangement, there was no tug waiting for the aircraft, so the flight crew used differential braking to turn the aircraft off the runway and onto the taxiway before stopping.

At this point the cabin crew manager reported to the captain that fumes were present in the cabin. An emergency evacuation was conducted, during which three passengers received minor injuries.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Greg Hood says the incident highlights the importance of training and procedures, and the need for organisations to educate their workforce about safety incidents.

“The flight crew were confronted with consecutive emergencies,” Mr Hood said. “They responded to each situation in accordance with their training and procedures, which resulted in everyone safely evacuating the aircraft with only minor injuries reported.”

Read the ATSB investigation report AO-2016-125

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Last update 09 February 2017