Aviation safety investigations & reports

Engine surge and high vibration involving Airbus A330, VH-EBR, 44 km NE Gold Coast Airport, Queensland, on14 April 2018

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress
Phase: Final report: Internal review Read more information on this investigation phase


Update: 14 April 2020

The investigation into the engine surge and high vibration involving Airbus A330, VH-EBR, 44 km north-east of Gold Coast Airport, Queensland, on 14 April 2018 is continuing.

The investigation report is currently in the ‘Final report: Internal review’ phase. Final ATSB investigation reports undergo a rigorous internal review process to ensure the report adequately and accurately reflects the evidence collected, analysis, and agreed findings of the Safety Factor Review. Final investigation reports also undergo other technical and administrative reviews to ensure the reports meet national and international standards for transport safety investigations.

If a review identifies any issues with a report, such as information that needs to be expanded or findings that need to be modified, investigators will look to collect new evidence or conduct additional examination and analysis of existing evidence.

ATSB investigators have so far gathered and analysed information from multiple sources, including Qantas and General Electric Aviation.

This includes information on:

  • historical engine failure data
  • engine manufacturer specialist reports
  • engine inspection schedules and
  • component replacement procedures.

Refer to the General details table below for the anticipated completion date.



Initial summary

The ATSB is investigating an engine surge and high vibrations, involving an Airbus A330, VH-EBR, near Gold Coast, Queensland, on 14 April 2018.

During the climb, the crew detected abnormal engine indications and airframe vibrations from the left engine, and elected to reduce the thrust to idle. The crew carried out an air return to Brisbane for an uneventful landing.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will obtain information from the flight crew, engineering reports and recorded data and gather additional information as required.

A final report will be released at the end of the investigation.

Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.

General details
Date: 14 April 2018   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 2300 UTC   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Gold Coast   Investigation phase: Final report: Internal review  
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction  
  Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2020    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus  
Aircraft model A330-202  
Aircraft registration VH-EBR  
Serial number 1251  
Operator Qantas Airways  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Unknown  
Departure point Brisbane, Qld  
Destination Auckland, New Zealand  
Last update 14 April 2020