Investigation number
AO-2012-024
Occurrence date
Location
Brisbane
State
Queensland
Report release date
Report status
Final
Investigation level
Systemic
Investigation type
Occurrence Investigation
Investigation status
Completed
Aviation occurrence type
Landing gear/indication
Occurrence category
Accident
Highest injury level
None

What happened

On 15 February 2012, a Toll Aviation Pty Ltd Fairchild Industries Inc SA227 Metro III aircraft, registered VH-UZA, was being operated on a post-maintenance acceptance flight in the circuit at Brisbane Airport, Queensland with two crew on board. On selection of the landing gear handle to the down position, the landing gear would not extend. After unsuccessful attempts to extend the landing gear in both normal and emergency gear extension modes, the crew decided to conduct a wheels-up landing. At about 0230 Eastern Standard Time the aircraft landed along the centre-line of runway 19. The crew evacuated without injury and the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

What the ATSB found

The ATSB found that an electrical wire to the landing gear selector valve had separated at a connector adjacent to its terminal preventing normal operation of the landing gear to the down position. The investigation also identified an out of rig condition in the landing gear emergency extension system, which prevented correct operation of that system. Factors including the maintenance practices by a number of personnel and inconsistent maintenance documentation contributed to the existence of the defects.

What's been done as a result

The aircraft manufacturer advised that, as a result of this occurrence, re-routing requirements for the landing gear selector valve electrical wiring loom in the Metro aircraft have been distributed to all Metro operators through a Metro Global advisory publication.

The operator carried out a fleet-wide check of the landing gear on its Metro aircraft and rectified any defects found. The operator also re-routed the electrical wiring loom to the landing gear selector valve. In addition, the operator amended the pilot’s quick reference handbook and the Metro phase inspection worksheets and issued an engineering memorandum to all aircraft maintenance personnel detailing the operator’s requirements with regards to following standard procedures and approved data for maintenance tasks.

Safety message

This investigation highlights the importance of operators and approved maintenance organisations having a detailed understanding of the systems installed on the aircraft types that they are authorised to certify and aircraft manufacturers providing clear and concise maintenance procedures in an aircraft’s suite of manuals.

Aircraft Details
Departure point
Brisbane, Qld
Destination
Brisbane, Qld
Model
SA227
Serial number
AT-502
Registration
VH-UZA
Operation type
Charter
Damage
Substantial
Manufacturer
Fairchild Industries Inc