Aviation safety investigations & reports

Rejected takeoff - Airbus A330, VH-EBL, Perth Airport, WA, 23 February 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 23 February 2011, an Airbus A330‑203 aircraft, registered VH-EBL, was being operated by Qantas Airlines on a scheduled passenger flight from Perth, Western Australia to Sydney, New South Wales. During the latter part of the takeoff, the aircraft yawed suddenly and unexpectedly and the pilot in command rejected the takeoff. Following braking, smoke and some flame emitted from the main wheel area, but emergency services were not required to apply any extinguishing agent.

The investigation found that there was no aircraft‑related problem and the unexpected aircraft yaw was probably due to a lateral wind gust.

No organisational or systemic issues that might adversely affect the future safety of aviation operations were identified. However, the occurrence does provide a timely reminder of the risks associated with rejected takeoffs at relatively high speeds, such as wheel fires. Pilot awareness of their potential exposure to sudden and unexpected lateral wind gusts during takeoff may increase the likelihood of pilots differentiating between a lateral jerk to the aircraft and the effect of an engine failure.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 426KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 427KB]
General details
Date: 23 February 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1529 WST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Perth Airport    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Weather - Other  
Release date: 18 October 2011   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus Industrie  
Aircraft model A330  
Aircraft registration VH-EBL  
Serial number 976  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Perth, WA  
Destination Sydney, NSW  
Last update 03 April 2020