Aviation safety investigations & reports

Fumes event - en-route from Sydney to Albury, New South Wales, Saab AB 340B, VH-RXX, 5 August 2007

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 5 August 2007 at 1407 Eastern Standard Time, a Saab Aircraft AB 340B, registered VH-RXX, was being operated on a scheduled passenger service from Sydney to Albury, NSW. It was the aircraft's first flight of the day and the first flight after a routine compressor wash carried out on the engines.

An odour, which had been apparent inside the aircraft during the preflight procedure and taxi, and which was described as 'similar to curry', became much stronger from just before rotation until about two minutes after takeoff. Believing the fumes were caused by compressor wash fluid and would dissipate, the flight crew elected to continue the flight.

The manufacturer of the compressor wash fluid confirmed that, when heated, it would produce an odour similar to curry.

The operator reported that their compressor wash procedure had been followed, and was unable to explain the subsequent ingress of fumes to the cockpit and cabin of the aircraft.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 308KB]
General details
Date: 05 August 2007   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1415 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Sydney Airport    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Fumes  
Release date: 23 September 2008   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer S.A.A.B. Aircraft Co  
Aircraft model 340  
Aircraft registration VH-RXX  
Serial number 340B-209  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Sydney, NSW  
Destination Albury, NSW  
Last update 03 April 2020