Aviation safety investigations & reports

Engine in-flight shut down, 37km WNW Danks, Vic, 5 February 2007, VH-EBY, Boeing Company 747-338

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 4 February 2007, the crew of a Boeing Company 747-338, registered VH-EBY, shut down the number-3 engine in flight, due to a fuel related problem.

Approaching the top of descent the crew noticed that the number-3 main fuel tank quantity indicator (FQI) was reading zero and that both fuel boost pump low pressure lights for that tank had illuminated. The crew then shut down the number-3 engine, broadcast a PAN broadcast and continued the flight for an uneventful landing at Melbourne.

An examination of the number-3 main fuel tank after landing, found that it was empty. An 'over-read' malfunction in the number-3 FQI had resulted in the crew believing there was a greater quantity of fuel remaining in the tank than was actually present. The planned quantity of fuel for arrival at Melbourne for the number-3 tank was 2,500 kg. An investigation of the incident conducted by the operator determined that the FQI malfunction was caused by either an electrical malfunction, water contamination or a combination of both.

The FQI fault was rectified and the aircraft returned to service.

The investigation also found that the operator's refuelling procedures were not able to accurately verify the base line quantity of fuel on board, or to alert the flight crew or line engineers to the consequences of an erroneous fuel quantity indicator system indication. The investigation reviewed the refuelling procedures for the operator's other fleet types to ensure serviceability of those installations. As a result of this occurrence, the operator is implementing a series of safety actions, including amending its refuelling procedures and conducting a risk assessment of its fuel management policies and procedures.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 126KB]
General details
Date: 05 February 2007   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0450 ESuT    
Location   (show map): 37km WNW Danks    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Fuel starvation  
Release date: 30 June 2008   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 747  
Aircraft registration VH-EBY  
Serial number 23823  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Jakarta, Indonesia  
Destination Melbourne, Vic  
Last update 18 April 2018