Shortly after departing Jandakot, WA the flight nurse advised the pilot that she had detected a burning odour in the aircraft's cabin. The pilot also noticed the odour a short time later. There was no smoke and no visible sign of fire. Due to the unidentified nature of the odour, the pilot initiated a diversion back to the departure aerodrome and donned his emergency oxygen equipment. The pilot also turned the under floor auxiliary heating system OFF.
Early during the diversion to Jandakot, the flight nurse reported to the pilot that the odour seemed to have dissipated. The flight landed safely at Jandakot with no further report of any fumes in the cabin.
A maintenance investigation by the operator was unable to positively identify the source of the burning odour, or indication of burning.
The cessation of the burning odour shortly after the pilot turned the under floor auxiliary heating system OFF could have been consistent with an amount of accumulated dust deposit dislodging from the heater supply duct for the passenger compartment's auxiliary heating system and coming into contact with its heating element .
The decision by the pilot to immediately don his oxygen mask minimised his exposure to any fumes that might have been associated with the burning odour. That action minimised the risk of any potential toxic or incapacitating effect on the pilot's subsequent performance.
|Date:||04 August 2006||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Location:||55 km SE of Jandakot|
|State:||Western Australia||Occurrence type:||Diversion/return|
|Release date:||19 December 2006||Occurrence category:||Incident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Pilatus Aircraft Ltd|
|Type of operation||Aerial Work|
|Damage to aircraft||Nil|
|Departure point||Jandakot, WA|
|Role||Class of licence||Hours on type||Hours total|