Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cabin safety event - VH-NXM, Ayers Rock Aerodrome NT, 4 March 2010

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 4 March 2010, a Boeing 717-200 aircraft, registered VH-NXM, was being prepared to depart Ayers Rock, Northern Territory (NT) on a scheduled passenger flight to Cairns, Queensland (Qld).

At about 1500 Central Standard Time, the passengers had boarded the aircraft and the pilot in command instructed the cabin crew to close the aircraft doors. The cabin crew member allocated to the forward left door had difficulty unlatching the door, so the cabin crew member allocated to the forward right door came to assist. The assisting cabin crew member placed one foot outside the aircraft onto the portable stairs to assist with closing the door. At this point, ground personnel commenced moving the portable stairs and the assisting cabin crew member fell through the open door onto the apron. The cabin crew member sustained a fractured left arm, a sprained right wrist and some other minor injuries.

The aircraft operator and ground handling agent advised the ATSB that as a result of this occurrence, the ground handling agent has issued an interim procedure, which includes increased safety checks to ensure that the aircraft's doors are closed prior to the removal of the portable stairs.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.07MB]
General details
Date: 04 March 2010   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1500 CST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Ayers Rock Aerodrome    
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Cabin preparations  
Release date: 29 June 2010   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 717  
Aircraft registration VH-NXM  
Serial number 55094  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Ayers Rock, NT  
Destination Cairns, Qld  
Last update 14 November 2018