Aviation safety investigations & reports

Fairchild Industries Inc SA227-DC, VH-WAJ

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Shortly after landing at Perth and taxiing clear of the runway, the crew of the Metroliner observed smoke accumulating and increasing in intensity in the cockpit. The crew stopped the aircraft on the taxiway, shutdown the engines, notified air traffic services of the problem and commenced disembarkation of the aircraft. After the passengers had safely disembarked, the pilot in command re-entered the aircraft and observed that, with the engines stopped, the smoke had begun to dissipate from the cabin and cockpit.

The operator's maintenance investigation found that the right air cycle machine (ACM) had leaked oil into the airconditioning system, that had then entered the cabin as smoke and fumes. The ACM turbine had seized. The Chief Engineer reported that the company conducted a fleet wide analysis to see if a failure trend could be identified for the ACM units. They determined that the Metro fleet had used a total of ten ACM's since 1999, with six being used by the incident aircraft alone. The usage was evenly distributed between left and right installations of the units. The conclusion was that the air delivery system to the ACM's might have a partial blockage leading to the premature failures.

Safety Action

Local Safety Action

Due to the access difficulties with the ACM air delivery system, the Chief Engineer planned to program the entire fleet for in-depth inspections to verify/rectify the blockages as the opportunity arose. The exact start date of the program had not been determined at the time of publication of this report.

General details
Date: 20 August 2001   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1004 hours WST    
Location   (show map): Perth, Aero.    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Air/pressurisation  
Release date: 23 October 2001   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Industries Inc  
Aircraft model SA227  
Aircraft registration VH-WAJ  
Serial number DC-876B  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Jundee, WA  
Departure time 0831 hours WST  
Destination Perth, WA  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command ATPL 1189.9 4730
Last update 13 May 2014