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.
|Date:||05 February 2007||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Location:||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 manufacturer||The Boeing Company|
|Type of operation||Air Transport High Capacity|
|Damage to aircraft||Nil|
|Departure point||Jakarta, Indonesia|