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Final Report

Summary

On 11 November 2016, at about 1546 Central Standard Time, a Cessna 208B aircraft, registered VH-TYV (TYV) entered runway 29, at the intersection of taxiway E2 at Darwin Airport, Northern Territory for an aircraft type re-familiarisation training flight. On board were an instructor and trainee pilot.

After take-off at an altitude of about 500 ft above ground level (AGL), the instructor noted the climb speed reducing while the trainee continued to maintain the nose attitude for best angle of climb. At the same time, the instructor heard the engine lose power and a thin film of fuel partially obscured the windscreen.

As the airspeed reduced to 60 kt, the instructor took control of TYV. They identified an area to the left of the aircraft as the most suitable for a forced landing and began a left turn towards that clear area at the target glide speed of 85 kt. As the aircraft turned, they assessed that sufficient height remained to continue the turn back towards Darwin Airport. At the completion of the turn, they selected 30 degrees of flaps to provide a short climb, which allowed the aircraft to clear two hangars and an area of trees.

After clearing the hangars and trees, the instructor observed taxiway A in line with the aircraft and elected to land on the taxiway. The aircraft landed without further incident.

This incident serves to underline the importance of ensuring all maintenance is completed entirely and correctly. The locking plate was not installed during scheduled maintenance, however, the fuel leak did not develop for a further 86 flight hours. This demonstrates how the effects of incomplete maintenance can take a long period of time to manifest.

 

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 57

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