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At 1350 Eastern Standard Time on 19 March 2006, an Airbus A330-303 aircraft, registered VH-QPB, commenced takeoff on runway 19 at Brisbane Airport, Qld, on a scheduled passenger service to Singapore. The pilot in command (PIC) was the pilot not flying (PNF) and the copilot was the pilot flying (PF) for the sector. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at Brisbane.

During the take-off roll, the flight crew noticed a significant discrepancy between the PF and PNF's airspeed indications and the PIC assumed control of the aircraft and rejected the takeoff. The PIC elected to not use reverse thrust and attempted to manually disconnect the autobrakes via brake pedal deflection during the rejected takeoff.

Shortly after vacating the runway, the flight crew noted increased brake temperatures and selected the brake cooling fans ON. During the taxi, the brake temperatures continued to rise and became excessive. The fusible plugs on six of the eight main landing gear wheels melted and the respective tyres deflated. There were no injuries to the crew or passengers.

A post-flight engineering inspection of the aircraft found what appeared to be wasp-related debris in the PIC's pitot probe and the operator determined that the contamination was a probable contributory factor in the incident.

The operator and airport owner undertook a number of safety actions to minimise the risk of future wasp activity at Brisbane Airport.

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General details
Date: 19 March 2006 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1350 EST  
Location   (show map):Brisbane Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Smoke 
Release date: 05 February 2008 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Airbus Industrie 
Aircraft model: A330 
Aircraft registration: VH-QPB 
Serial number: 558 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Brisbane Aerodrome, Qld
Departure time:1350
Destination:Sydney Aerodrome, NSW
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Last update 18 April 2018