At 1837 Eastern Standard Time on 3 October 2006, a Boeing Co 767-338 aircraft, registered VH-OGJ, with a crew of 11 and 125 passengers, commenced the takeoff roll on runway 27 at Melbourne Airport, Vic, on a scheduled passenger service to Sydney, NSW. The sun had set at 1826.
During rotation of the aircraft, the crew noticed a large flock of birds (estimated between 20 and 50 birds) converging with the aircraft's flight path. With no evasive manoeuvre available to the crew at this stage of flight, the aircraft encountered the flock and sustained multiple strikes on many parts of the aircraft. Immediately following the strikes, the crew checked the engine instruments and noticed that the left engine vibration indicator had risen to about 4.5 units. The crew reduced power on the left engine and that reduced the vibration levels. The crew reported that, based on the stable EGT and the vibration level on the left engine being below the limit provided by maintenance watch, they elected to continue the flight to Sydney rather than return to Melbourne.
The investigation found that the decision to continue the flight did not fully take into account the potential effect of the birdstrike on the durability of the left engine, nor did it account for the performance of the aircraft if the right engine ceased operating during the flight.
Following the occurrence, the operator implemented a policy for their twin engine fleet that if a birdstrike to an engine is known to have occurred and there is obvious sign of engine damage, then a landing at the nearest suitable airport should be made.
|Date:||03 October 2006||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Release date:||29 June 2007||Occurrence category:||Incident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft manufacturer||The Boeing Company|
|Type of operation||Air Transport High Capacity|
|Damage to aircraft||Minor|
|Departure point||Melbourne, Vic|