Aviation safety investigations & reports

Technical Analysis Report: Pilot Performance during Engine Power Loss

Investigation number:
Status: Discontinued


Between 2001 and 2006, there were a number of fatal single and multi-engine aeroplane accidents that occurred, where the ATSB found that engine power loss during or after takeoff preceded loss of control. Those accidents involved different aircraft types, all below 5,700 kg MTOW, and a variety of pilot experience. Partial power loss, sometimes intermittent, featured in most of the single engine power loss accidents. ATSB research papers were also indicating an uncontrolled flight into terrain (UFIT) problem. 

While the ATSB investigated each accident individually, a safety issue investigation was initiated on 3 July 2006, to enable a broader look into what may assist the aviation industry to manage the risk of operating aircraft that don't have assured takeoff performance when an engine loses power (generally aircraft below 5,700 kg MTOW). Of particular interest was how pilots managed a partial engine power loss during or soon after takeoff in single engine aircraft.  

The investigation found no significant safety issues that had not been addressed by developments and changes within the aviation industry since July 2006. As a result, the safety issues investigation was discontinued, however the ATSB has initiated an aviation research project to produce educational material for the aviation industry on this topic.

General details
Date: 17 July 2006   Investigation status: Discontinued  
Time: 1200   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Canberra    
State: Australian Capital Territory    
Release date: 27 August 2009   Occurrence category: Technical Analysis  
Report status: Discontinued   Highest injury level: None  
Last update 03 April 2020