Aviation safety investigations & reports

Fumes event involving Bombardier DHC-8, VH-SBB, Adelaide Airport, South Australia, on 10 November 2016

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Final Report

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At about 0936 Central Daylight-saving Time on the 10 November 2016, a QantasLink Bombardier DHC 8 315 aircraft, registered VH-SBB, was on approach to Adelaide Airport South Australia. Two flight crew, two cabin crew and 43 passengers were on board the regular public transport flight.

At this time, the flight crew contacted air traffic control and informed the approach controller that they were at 9,000 ft. Soon after, the first officer, noticed that the captain’s electronic attitude director indicator (EADI) screen had gone blank. The flight crew conducted the display failure checklist.

The flight crew were then cleared to descend they noticed a faint electrical smell, they were not able to identify the source of the smell but suspected that it originated from the failed EADI screen.

The flight crew determined that the smell was getting worse and conducted their phase one-memory checklist items for a fuselage fire or smoke.

At about 0943, the flight crew made a PAN PAN call to air traffic control and advised that they had an instrument failure and electrical smell. The flight crew advised the tower controller that they would require emergency services on standby.

The aircraft landed, taxied onto taxiway E and stopped just passed the holding point clear of runway 12. All passengers and crewmembers disembarked the aircraft.

There were no injuries as a result of the occurrence and the aircraft was not damaged.

Many factors come into play when pilots make decisions in the aviation environment. There are many different models and tools that pilots can use for effective decision making, such as GRADE, as was used by the captain in this event. The models involve a systematic approach to decision making, to consistently determine the best course of action in response to a given situation. 

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 58

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General details
Date: 10 November 2016   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 09:42 CSuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Adelaide Airport    
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Avionics/flight instruments  
Release date: 24 March 2017   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Inc  
Aircraft model DHC-8-315  
Aircraft registration VH-SBB  
Serial number 539  
Operator Eastern Australia Airlines  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Port Lincoln, SA  
Destination Adelaide, SA  
Last update 14 November 2018