An ATSB investigation report has emphasised the need for operators to heed the advice of aircraft manufacturers with regards to maintenance and upgrades to their fleet.
On 13 December 2016, a B200 King Air aircraft was conducting a visual approach to Moomba Airport in South Australia when the pilot observed the left engine fire warning activate. The pilot shut down the left engine, but omitted to feather the propeller. The additional drag caused by the windmilling propeller combined with the aircraft configuration for landing while in a right turn, requiring more thrust than was available. The aircraft landed in the sand to the left of the runway threshold and, after a short ground roll, spun to the left before coming to rest. There were no injuries, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.
No engine fire damage was found, which indicated the fire warning had almost certainly been a false alarm. The aircraft manufacturer had previously published a service bulletin for the optional replacement of the engine fire detection system with a system less susceptible to false warnings. The operator, however, who had limited experienced with false engine warnings in their fleet, elected not to replace the system on the aircraft.
The ATSB also found that the pilot had not received the operator’s published syllabus of training for that aircraft. Instead, a tailored training program was delivered based on the pilot’s experience on the C90 King Air and taking into account advice the operator received from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). This training did not cover all the elements required under the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
As a result, CASA will be taking steps to refresh industry and its own officers’ knowledge of particular terms and concepts within the flight crew licencing regulations, so as to remove any doubt regarding their interpretation and applicability.Last update 06 July 2017