Aviation safety investigations & reports

Turbulence event, Adelaide Airport SA, 15 Dec 2006, Boeing Co 737-476, VH-TJH

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At approximately 1416 Central Daylight-saving Time on 15 Dec 2006, the flight crew commenced a take-off roll in a Boeing Company 737-400 aircraft, registered VH-TJH, on a scheduled passenger service from Adelaide, SA to Melbourne, Vic.

At a speed of approximately 50 kts, the crew reported an abrupt, uncommanded left yaw. Corrective action was applied and the takeoff was continued without further incident. The remaining flight was uneventful.

The flight crew subsequently reported that they did not notice any rudder pedal movement coincident with the uncommanded yaw and recalled that there was a gusting crosswind from the left during the takeoff.

Data from the aircraft's Flight Data Recorder was recovered and downloaded by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) for review. That review indicated that the input to the aircraft rudder was not uncommanded and that the rudder pedals moved proportionally to the rudder surface deflection at all times. An examination of the aircraft by the aircraft operators' maintenance engineers did not identify any reason for the uncommanded yaw and the aircraft was released back to service. Additionally, there was no other aircraft traffic in the vicinity that may have generated wake turbulence in the immediate timeframe prior to the takeoff.

While the nature of the uncommanded yaw could not be positively identified, it is likely that the event was related to an atmospheric disturbance or turbulence during the takeoff.

The ATSB continues to monitor such reported uncommanded yaw events and has reported similar events in the past (see occurrence reports 200700035, 200500994 and 199703237 available on the ATSB website).

Download Final Report
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General details
Date: 15 December 2006   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1416 CSuT    
Location   (show map): Adelaide Airport    
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Turbulence/windshear/microburst  
Release date: 26 June 2007   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 737  
Aircraft registration VH-TJH  
Serial number 24433  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Adelaide SA  
Departure time 14:16  
Destination Melbourne Vic  
Last update 18 April 2018