Aviation safety investigations & reports

Wheels-up landing involving Fairchild SA227-AT (Metro), VH-UZA, Brisbane Airport, 15 February 2012

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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.

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Safety Issue

Go to AO-2012-024-SI-01 -

Routing of landing gear selector valve electrical harness

The proximity of the landing gear selector valve electrical wiring loom to the external hydraulic power connectors within the left engine nacelle on Fairchild SA227-AT Metro aircraft resulted in the ‘down selection’ wire being damaged during routine maintenance activities.

Safety issue details
Issue number: AO-2012-024-SI-01
Who it affects: All owners and operators of SA227 aircraft
Status: Adequately addressed
General details
Date: 15 February 2012   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0230 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Brisbane    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Landing gear/indication  
Release date: 29 September 2014   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Industries Inc  
Aircraft model SA227  
Aircraft registration VH-UZA  
Serial number AT-502  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Brisbane, Qld  
Destination Brisbane, Qld  
Last update 03 April 2020