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On 6 August 2016, the flight crew of an Airnorth Embraer EMB-120 aircraft, registered VH-ANQ (ANQ), prepared to conduct flight TL414 from Darwin to Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory. On board were three crew and 30 passengers.

At about 0530 Central Standard Time, the flight crew arrived at ANQ. They discovered that the refueller was running late and the aircraft servicing had not been completed. The aircraft load information also arrived about 10 minutes late. In an attempt to depart on time, the first officer completed the trim sheet more quickly than usual and did not conduct their usual double check to confirm that it was completed correctly.

At about 0555, the crew started the take-off roll. As the aircraft rotated, the captain (the pilot flying) noted the aircraft felt out of trim, so adjusted the trim and completed a normal rotation. After the initial climb, the captain asked to review the trim sheet. The captain found that the first officer did not include 584 kg of baggage and freight in the take-off trim setting calculation. The crew rechecked the trim sheet which showed the aircraft was within all weight and balance limitations.

The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System Hurry-Up Study examined 125 incident records that involved time related problems. The study found that in 63% of incidents the error took place in the pre-flight phase.

The ATSB research report Take-off performance calculation and entry errors: A global perspective concluded that despite advanced aircraft systems and robust operating procedures, accidents continue to occur during the take-off phase of flight. It is imperative that the aviation industry continues to explore solutions to firstly minimise the opportunities for take-off performance parameter errors from occurring and secondly, maximise the chance that any errors that do occur are detected and/or do not lead to negative consequences.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 54

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General details
Date: 06 August 2016 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 05:55 CST  
Location   (show map):Darwin Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Aircraft Separation 
Release date: 22 November 2016 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Embraer-Empresa Brasileira De Aeronautica 
Aircraft model: EMB-120 ER 
Aircraft registration: VH-ANQ 
Serial number: 120079 
Operator: Capiteq 
Type of operation: Air Transport Low Capacity 
Sector: Turboprop 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Darwin, NT
Destination:Groote Eylandt, NT
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Last update 14 November 2018