Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cabin pressurisation issue involving a De Havilland Canada DHC-8-102, VH-QQD, 83 km north west of Perth Aerodrome, Western Australia, on 20 November 2021

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB has commenced a transport safety investigation into an occurrence involving a De Havilland Canada DHC-8-102, registration VH-QQD, 83 km north-west of Perth Airport, Western Australia, on 20 November 2021.

On 20 November 2021, VH-QQD was conducting a scheduled flight from Perth to Port Hedland. During climb, as the aircraft approached 10,000 ft, the crew identified that the cabin had not pressurised. The flight returned to Perth.

It was later identified that the aircraft had been undergoing maintenance, and for operational reasons the cabin recirculation fan had been removed and fitted to another aircraft. The aircraft had not been removed from the schedule, and its unserviceability was not detected prior to flight.

The evidence collection phase of the investigation will include interviewing involved personnel, and examination of maintenance records and other relevant evidence. A report will be published at the conclusion of the investigation.

Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties, so that appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 20 October 2021   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 2148 CUT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Perth Airport   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Air/pressurisation  
  Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2022    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer De Havilland Canada  
Aircraft model DHC-8-102  
Aircraft registration VH-QQD  
Serial number 245  
Operator Maroomba Airlines  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Perth Airport, Western Australia  
Destination Port Hedland, Western Australia  
Last update 01 December 2021