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On 21 November 2004, the crew of a Fairchild Industries SA227-AC Metro III aircraft, registered VH-TAG, was conducting an endorsement training flight near Lake George, 33 km north-east of Canberra Airport. The flight included a planned in-flight engine shutdown and restart, conducted at an altitude below 4,500 ft (about 2,200 ft above ground level (AGL)). During the engine restart preparation, the instructor departed from the published procedure by moving the power lever for the left engine into the beta range and directing the pilot to select the unfeather test switch. These actions were appropriate to prepare an engine for start on the ground with a feathered propeller, but not during an airstart. As a result, the propeller on the left engine became fixed in the start-locks position. The crew lost control of the aircraft and it descended 1,000 ft, to about 450 ft AGL, before they regained control. The crew could not diagnose the source of the loss of control and proceeded to start the left engine while the propeller was fixed on the start-locks. As a result, the crew lost control of the aircraft for a second time and it descended 1,300 ft, to about 300 ft AGL, before they regained control. The SA226 / SA227 aircraft contain no lockout system to prevent pilots from intentionally moving the power lever into the beta range during flight. It was the first time the instructor had given a Metro endorsement and he was subject to time pressure to complete the endorsement. His ongoing difficulties in adapting to his employment tasks were not successfully dealt with by the operator.  He had a limited understanding of the aircraft's engine and propeller systems, and had not practiced an airstart for 8 years as the CASA check and training approval did not include an assessment of all flight critical exercises.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 215KB]
General details
Date: 21 November 2004 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1431 hours ESuT  
Location   (show map):33 km ENE Canberra, Aero. Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Australian Capital Territory Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 19 July 2006 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Fairchild Industries Inc 
Aircraft model: SA227 
Aircraft registration: VH-TAG 
Serial number: AC-705 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Canberra, ACT
Departure time:1340 hours ESuT
Destination:Canberra, ACT
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
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Last update 13 May 2014