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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.

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General details
Date: 04 March 2010 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1500 CST  
Location   (show map):Ayers Rock Aerodrome Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Cabin preparations 
Release date: 29 June 2010 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
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
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Last update 18 April 2018