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 17 May 2019, a Piper PA-32RT departed Jandakot, Western Australia, to conduct a training flight. There was an instructor and a student on board.
During initial climb at about 400 ft, the crew reported that the engine began running roughly and surged, and was not producing adequate power to perform a normal climb. The crew contacted Jandakot air traffic control tower and advised them of the engine malfunction, requesting an immediate landing. They also requested to land on runway 06R, as it was the closest runway available to them. The aircraft was able to maintain 100 ft above ground level allowing the crew to conduct a low-level circuit and safe landing on the runway.
Following the incident, an engineering inspection revealed that the turbo waste gate became stuck resulting in the rough running engine.
Partial power loss in a single-engine aircraft is three times more likely to occur than a complete engine failure. When an engine failure occurs at low altitudes, pilots are confronted with minimal options and need to make important decisions in a very short space of time. The ATSB’s publication and YouTube video, Managing partial power loss after take-off in single-engine aircraft highlights the importance of pre-flight decision making including planning for emergencies and abnormal situations.
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:||17 May 2019||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Release Date:||24 June 2019||Occurrence category:||Serious Incident|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Piper Aircraft Corp|
|Type of operation||Flying Training|
|Damage to aircraft||Nil|
|Departure point||Jandakot, Western Australia|
|Destination||Jandakot, Western Australia|