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At approximately 0725 Eastern Daylight-saving Time on 3 December 2005, during a scheduled passenger service from Wynyard, Tasmania to Melbourne, Victoria, the crew of the de Havilland Canada, Dash 8 aircraft, registered VH-TQW, heard a loud bang from the left side of the aircraft. The crew then observed the loss of the number one (left) engine's torque and oil pressure indication.

Following company procedures, the crew shut down the left engine, advised Melbourne Air Traffic Control of their situation, and continued the approach. A single engine landing was conducted at Melbourne.

A subsequent examination of the aircraft indicated that an internal failure of the left engine had occurred. The engine, a Pratt and Whitney Canada, PW121 model, serial number 120257, was removed from the aircraft and sent to the engine manufacturer's overhaul facility in Singapore for disassembly and examination. The examination was conducted under the surpervision of the Air Accident Investigation Bureau of Singapore on behalf of the Australian Tranport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

The engine examination found that the engine accessory gearbox bevel gearshaft (towershaft) had failed, separating into three segments. The failed towershaft disrupted the supply of fuel and oil to the engine, resulting in the engine failure.

As a result of this and other, similar, towershaft failures in this engine type, the results of this occurrence  and a broader investigation are included in ATSB Safety Investigation Report 200501912.

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General details
Date: 03 December 2005 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0730 ESuT  
Location   (show map):74km SE Melbourne, Aerodrome Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction 
Release date: 11 May 2007 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: de Havilland Canada 
Aircraft model: DHC-8 
Aircraft registration: VH-TQW 
Type of operation: Air Transport Low Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Wynyard, TAS
Destination:Melbourne, VIC
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Last update 16 February 2016