On 9 May 2010 at 1700 local time, an Airbus Industrie A319-115 aircraft, registered VH-VHD, was being operated on a charter flight from Cocos (Keeling) Island to Christmas Island. On departure, the aircraft taxied with its forward integral air stairs still extended. The aircraft was brought to a halt, the stairs were inspected and then retracted, and the flight continued normally. The warning system designed to inform the crew that the air stairs were extended did not function correctly in this instance.
The operator has advised the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) that as a result of this occurrence, it has introduced a number of safety actions, including:
- revised procedures for the management and operation of internal stairs on the A319
- a clear definition of the duties of company engineers when carried on operational flights.