Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.
On 20 December 2018, a de Havilland DHC-8 was traveling from Sydney, New South Wales (NSW) to Dubbo, NSW on a regular public transport flight. During approach to runway 23 at Dubbo, the aircraft encountered heavy showers and unexpected moderate to severe turbulence. The crew disengaged the autopilot and commenced a missed approach procedure. During the missed approach, the aircraft’s indicated airspeed (IAS) dropped to 100, and the crew received a momentary stick shaker alert. While climbing through 3,700 ft, the aircraft again encountered severe turbulence.
After landing, damage to the empennage was evident, with oil canning on the skin of the aircraft. Minor damage between the rudder and elevator was also observed. There were no reported injuries to passengers or crew; however, some passengers reported feeling airsick.
The ATSB research report, Staying safe against in-flight turbulence (AR-2008-034), details that while turbulence is normal and occurs frequently, it can be dangerous. Turbulence is rarely a threat to passenger aircraft or to pilot control of the aircraft. In a typical turbulence incident, 99 per cent of people on board receive no injuries. The report outlines what steps passengers can take to mitigate the risk of injury during turbulence.
About this report
Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.
|Date:||20 December 2018||Investigation status:||Completed|
|State:||New South Wales|
|Release Date:||03 May 2019||Occurrence category:||Serious Incident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft manufacturer||de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd|
|Type of operation||Air Transport High Capacity|
|Damage to aircraft||Minor|
|Departure point||Sydney, NSW|