Aviation safety investigations & reports

British Aerospace Plc HS 748-2A, VH-IPB

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


The HS-748 aircraft was engaged in a night freight operation and was under charter to a freight carrier. The aircraft had been loaded with 4 LD type containers and an amount of freight. During the post loading walk-around, the first officer had difficulty removing the tailstand from the aircraft. The first officer asked the loading staff if the aircraft was loaded in accordance with the load sheet. The loading staff indicated that the aircraft had been loaded according to the sheet. The first officer consulted the pilot in command and ascertained that the loaded centre-of-gravity of the aircraft was towards the middle of the allowable centre-of-gravity envelope. The crew then removed the tailstand and completed the before start checks and started the engines in preparation for taxi.

Shortly after the engines had been started, the loading staff approached the aircraft and signalled to the pilot in command that they wished to speak to him. The pilot in command shut down one engine and dispatched the first officer to speak with the loading staff. After speaking with the loading staff, the first officer signalled to the pilot in command to shut down the other engine.

Subsequent inquiries by the loading staff revealed that an incorrect container had been loaded on board the aircraft. These inquiries revealed that the aircraft had been loaded with an empty LD container in the forward position. The correct LD container for the forward position was expected to weigh 1120 kg. The aircraft had been loaded incorrectly.

The freight carrier instituted an internal investigation that revealed a number of factors contributing to the incorrect loading. These factors included an absence of loading documentation for both the loading supervisor and the pallet loader operator. There was also an absence of loading documentation for flight crew that indicated the container identification and disposition.

Safety Action

Local Safety Action

The freight carrier has indicated that they have reissued national instructions to staff reiterating that loading is not to commence until loading supervisors and pallet loader operators are in receipt of loading instructions for the aircraft. It has also reiterated to managers that they should ensure that the pallet loader operator is required to check the container numbers and positions prior to commencing loading operations in accordance with the freight carrier's documented standard operating procedures.

The freight carrier has also issued standard operating procedures requiring loading staff to provide flight crew with a copy of the loading documentation which identifies the containers and their location on the aircraft.

The aircraft operator has indicated that it has produced a load-training program for the particular aircraft type. They are planning to have all the freight carrier's staff responsible for the loading of the HS-748 aircraft undergo this training.

General details
Date: 06 March 2003   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 2310 hours ESuT    
Location   (show map): Sydney, Aero.    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 22 July 2003   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer British Aerospace PLC  
Aircraft model 748  
Aircraft registration VH-IPB  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Sydney, NSW  
Destination Brisbane, QLD  
Last update 13 May 2014