Statement can be attributed to ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell

Last night the Australian Transport Safety Bureau commenced a transport safety investigation into the in-flight engine failure incident involving a Qantas 737 aircraft during a flight from Auckland to Sydney.

The ATSB has assigned a team of three experienced transport safety investigators, with experience in aircraft maintenance, aircraft operations, and data recovery, to commence the evidence collection phase of this investigation.

At the ATSB’s request the operator has quarantined the aircraft’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders. Once downloaded, information from those recorders will be analysed at the ATSB’s technical facilities in Canberra.

Other likely investigation activities will include interviewing the flight crew, reviewing operator procedures, analysing weather information, examining any relevant engine components, and potentially attending any tear-down inspection of the engine.

Our investigators will now work methodically to progressively establish the incident’s sequence of events and contextual information, with a view to determining contributing factors and any underlying safety issues, which will be detailed in the investigation’s final report.

The scope of the investigation and its timeframe will be determined as the ATSB build its understanding of the nature of the event.

Passenger-carrying operations are the ATSB’s highest investigation priority, and, as with all ATSB investigations, if at any time during the course of this investigation we uncover any critical safety issues, we will immediately share those with relevant stakeholders so timely safety action can be taken.

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