Aviation safety investigations & reports

Loading event involving Fairchild SA227, VH-HPE, Rockhampton Airport, Queensland, on 11 May 2020

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating a loading evening involving a Fairchild SA227, VH-HPE, near Rockhampton Airport, Queensland, on 11 May 2020.

The aircraft was loaded incorrectly, resulting in the centre of gravity being outside of the rear limit. During take-off and cruise, the pilot experienced control issues which required constant pressure to be kept on the flight controls to maintain straight and level flight.

As part of the investigation, investigators will be interviewing the pilot and ground staff, reviewing flight data recorders and examining operational records.

Should any safety critical information be discovered at any time during the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify operators and regulators so appropriate and timely safety action can be taken.

A final report will be published at the conclusion of the investigation.

General details
Date: 11 May 2020   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 18:15 AEST   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Rockhampton Airport   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Loading related  
  Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2021    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Industries Inc  
Aircraft model SA227-DC  
Aircraft registration VH-HPE  
Serial number DC-823B  
Operator Toll Aviation  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Rockhampton, Queensland  
Destination Brisbane, Queensland  
Last update 06 July 2020