On Wednesday 21 March 2012 at 0530 Eastern Daylight-Savings Time an aerodrome reporting officer (ARO) reported a runway edge light outage at Williamtown Airport, New South Wales. A further inspection during daylight revealed a broken runway edge light and wheel marks in the grass adjacent to the runway. The evidence was consistent with an aircraft departing from the sealed operational readiness platform adjacent to the runway threshold onto the grass and colliding with the runway edge lighting.
The distance between the wheel marks was consistent with a Beechcraft Kingair aircraft. Air traffic control records show that no other aircraft with this wheel arrangement had operated between the runway inspections.
The pilot of a Beechcraft Kingair 350, recalled rejecting the takeoff on departure from Williamtown Airport on the night of 19 March 2012 due to asymmetric power resulting in the aircraft deviating left of centreline. The pilot did not believe that the aircraft left the sealed runway area. A number of other Kingair aircraft operated at Williamtown during the considered period.
It was not possible to determine when the runway excursion occurred, however the wheel marks indicated that a Kingair may have inadvertently lined up on the runway edge lighting during takeoff. A paper published by the ATSB, "Factors influencing misaligned take-off occurrence at night" highlighted the risk factors for a misaligned takeoff.
|Date:||19 March 2012||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||0530 EDT||Investigation level:||Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|State:||New South Wales||Occurrence type:||Runway excursion|
|Release date:||03 August 2012||Occurrence class:||Operational|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Serious Incident|
|Highest injury level:||None|