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Final Report

Summary

On 9 August 2016 at about 2020 Central Standard Time, a Raytheon B200 aircraft, registered VH‑ZCJ (ZCJ), departed from Darwin Airport, Northern Territory (NT), to collect a patient from Tindal Airport, NT, for transfer to Darwin. On board the flight from Darwin were the pilot and one flight nurse.

The patient was loaded on board ZCJ at about 2250. The Tindal ATC tower closed at 2300 and at about 2309 the pilot taxied ZCJ to runway 14 for departure. At about 85–87 kt, the pilot felt the aircraft nose wheel strike something on the runway with an associated vibration through the rudder pedals. The pilot observed the aircraft was continuing to accelerate and rotated the aircraft at the lift-off speed of 94 kt.

After departure, the pilot contacted the Tindal Airport emergency services and asked them to inspect the runway to check on the status of the aircraft arrestor cable. The emergency services inspected the runway and advised the pilot that the arrestor cable was in the raised position, and that they would immediately report this to the Tindal Airport cable barrier crew for rectification. The pilot continued the flight to Darwin and landed at Darwin Airport without further incident. The aircraft was not damaged and there were no injuries.

As a result of this incident, the airport operator reviewed their procedures and training for the operation of the aircraft arrestor cable. The aircraft operator issued an operations notice to their flight crew to advise them of the incident and instruct them that if the pilot in command cannot be assured of the cable status, to taxi past the cable prior to take-off, or land long to avoid it on arrival.

 

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 54

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