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Updated: 23 March 2017

The ATSB investigation into the in-flight propeller detachment involving SAAB 340 VH-NRX, 19 km SW of Sydney Airport, NSW, on 17 March 2017 is continuing.

With assistance from the NSW Police at Bankstown and NSW Police Air Wing, the investigation team yesterday recovered the propeller assembly in bushland at Revesby in Sydney’s South West. ATSB investigators have also interviewed flight and cabin crew.

The team are now:

  • consulting with the engine and aircraft manufacturers and the aircraft operator
  • reviewing the aircraft’s maintenance requirements and records
  • examining the aircraft’s flight data recorder
  • examining physical components, including the propeller assembly and engine, in consultation with relevant parties.

Updates will be provided as significant information comes to hand.

A preliminary factual report is expected to be publicly released within a month.

 NSW Police at Bankstown and NSW Police Air Wing,  recovered the propeller assembly in bushland at Revesby



Updated: 22 March 2017

ATSB senior transport safety investigators Aaron Holman (left) and Max Marton with the SAAB 340 propeller that detached from the engine on a Rex flight from Albury to Sydney on 17 March.

The propeller was lifted from its position in bushland near Revesby, south-west of Sydney, to a nearby field using a PolAir helicopter.

It was then transported by truck for storage at a NSW Police Aviation Support Branch facility at Bankstown where ATSB investigators will continue their investigation into the incident.

ATSB senior transport safety investigators Aaron Holman (left) and Max Marton with the SAAB 340 propeller
The propeller assembly detached from the engine on a flight from Albury to Sydney on 17 March
Source: Australian Transport Safety Bureau


21 March 2017

The detached propeller from the Regional Express (REX) SAAB 340 was located by NSW Police at around noon today.

The propeller was located by NSW Police helicopter PolAir1 in an area of bushland near Revesby in Sydney’s south-west.

The ATSB is now working with NSW Police to recover the 100kg propeller assembly in preparation for examination.

Since the propeller assembly detached from the engine on a flight from Albury to Sydney on 17 March, the ATSB has been calculating its likely trajectory, using data from the aircraft’s flight data recorder. The propeller was located in an area broadly consistent with the ATSB’s calculations.

The ATSB investigation team will examine the propeller assembly to determine the contributing factors that led to its detachment from the aircraft.

ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood thanked NSW Police for their ongoing cooperation with locating and recovering the propeller.

More information about this incident and the ATSB’s investigation is available on the ATSB’s website.

Link to the PolAir1 vision.



Published: 17 March 2017

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating an incident involving a Saab 340, registration VH-NRX, about 19 km from Sydney on 17 March 2017.

It is reported that the right propeller assembly detached in-flight during the Regional Express (REX) flight from Albury to Sydney, with 16 passengers and three crew on board. The aircraft landed safely at Sydney.

The ATSB is deploying a team of three investigators with expertise in materials failure engineering, recorded flight data analysis, and human factors.

Over the next few days, investigators will examine the aircraft, interview the flight and cabin crew, collect maintenance records and recorded flight data.

Important: The ATSB urges anyone who finds a piece of suspected aircraft debris NOT to handle it. Please call the local police or the ATSB on 1800 020 616.


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General details
Date: 17 Mar 2017 Investigation status: Active 
Time: 11:49 EsuT Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):Sydney Airport, 19 km SW Occurrence type:Propeller/rotor malfunction 
State: New South Wales  
 Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
Report status: Pending Highest injury level: None 
Expected completion: Mar 2018  
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Saab Aircraft Co. 
Aircraft model: 340B 
Aircraft registration: VH-NRX 
Serial number: 340B-291 
Operator: Regional Express 
Type of operation: Air Transport Low Capacity 
Sector: Turboprop 
Damage to aircraft: Unknown 
Departure point:Albury, NSW
Destination:Sydney, NSW

Media Release

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Last update 20 March 2017