Aviation safety investigations & reports

Aircraft Loss of Control, Lake George, NSW; VH-TAG, SA227-AC Metro III

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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.    
State: Australian Capital Territory   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 19 July 2006   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

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
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command ATPL 5388.0 8230
Unknown Commercial 4.5 1649
Last update 13 May 2014