Aviation safety investigations & reports

Engine failure involving SAAB 340, VH-RXS, near Dubbo Airport, NSW, on 23 March 2017

Investigation number:
AO-2017-034
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Final Report

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On 23 March 2017, at about 0942 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, a Regional Express SAAB 340B, registered VH-RXS, departed Dubbo Airport, New South Wales to operate scheduled passenger flight ZL821 to Sydney, New South Wales. There were three crew and 23 passengers on board.

At about 0944, as the aircraft climbed through about 4,300 ft, the flight crew heard several bangs from the right engine accompanied by jolts through the aircraft. At the same time, the cockpit master warning illuminated and the right engine instruments displayed multiple warnings. The first officer identified a failure of the right engine and the flight crew immediately enacted the memory items of the engine failure checklist.

After completing the memory items, the flight crew commenced the standard failure management procedures. The flight crew secured the right engine and established that the aircraft was performing satisfactorily. The captain identified Dubbo as the most suitable airport for landing. The flight crew reviewed the weather conditions for Dubbo and elected to conduct a visual approach and landing.

At 1004 the aircraft landed on runway 05. No persons were injured and the aircraft suffered minor damage in the incident.

This incident highlights the importance of effective training and emergency procedures. Faced with an abnormal situation, the training provided to the flight crew ensured they were able to effectively implement the standard failure procedures, secure the failed engine and return for a safe landing.

During an emergency, the flight crew prioritise the management of the emergency to ensure that the safety of the flight is not compromised. Completing the emergency procedures, along with the coordination of emergency services and communications with supporting agencies may absorb a significant amount of time before the flight crew are able to provide an update to passengers.

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General details
Date: 23 March 2017   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 9:44 ESuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Dubbo    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction  
Release date: 18 September 2017   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Saab Aircraft Co.  
Aircraft model 340B  
Aircraft registration VH-RXS  
Serial number 340B-285  
Operator Regional Express  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Dubbo, NSW  
Destination Sydney, NSW  
Last update 14 November 2018