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On 6 September 2006, a Boeing Co 717-200 (717) aircraft, registered VH-NXI, departed Perth, WA on a scheduled passenger service to Karratha. Approximately 100 NM (185 km) from Karratha, there was an automated thrust reduction and the aircraft commenced the descent into Karratha.

Shortly after leaving the top of descent, the flight crew observed that the right engine had failed. During the completion of the relevant non-normal checklist items, the crew noticed that the main fuel switch for the right engine was selected to OFF. The engine failure checklist was carried out and a successful restart made as the aircraft continued to Karratha.

An examination of the throttle module and main fuel switches by the aircraft operator found no fault with their operation.

As a result of this incident, the aircraft operator issued a Safety Alert to all of its 717 operating crew advising of the possibility of selecting the aircraft's main fuel switches to ON without their correctly engaging the locking detent. That alert also warned flight crew of the possibility of inadvertent in-flight selection of the switches to OFF by catching wristbands or long sleeve shirt cuffs. In addition, flight crew were advised to not pass technical manuals or other similar items across the throttle quadrant in the vicinity of the main fuel switches.

The operator is evaluating the possible fitment of a physical guard to protect the main fuel switches against their inadvertent unlock from the ON position.

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General details
Date: 06 September 2006 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1647 EST  
Location   (show map):Enroute Perth to Karratha Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Incorrect configuration 
Release date: 17 December 2007 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: The Boeing Company 
Aircraft model: 717 
Aircraft registration: VH-NXI 
Serial number: 55054 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Perth, WA
Destination:Karratha, WA
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
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Last update 18 April 2018