Aviation safety investigations & reports

Interrupted engine start and evacuation involving SAAB 340B, registration VH-ZRK, at Melbourne Airport, Victoria, on 5 April 2022

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB has commenced a transport safety investigation into an interrupted engine start and subsequent evacuation involving SAAB 340B, registration VH-ZRK, at Melbourne Airport, Victoria, on 5 April 2022.

The aircraft was preparing for departure at Melbourne Airport for a scheduled passenger flight to King Island with 3 crew and 23 passengers on board. The flight crew reported that, during the engine start, ground staff signalled the possibility of fire/smoke coming from the left engine. The flight crew shut down both engines, discharged the left engine fire extinguisher and ordered an evacuation. 

As a result of the evacuation, one passenger received a minor injury. The operator subsequently advised the ATSB that there was no indication of an engine failure or damage prior to or at the time of the occurrence.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview the crew and examine recorded data.

A final report will be released 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: 05 April 2022   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 14:52 AUS Eastern Standard Time   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Melbourne Airport   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: Victoria    
  Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Minor  
Anticipated completion: 3rd Quarter 2022    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Saab Aircraft Co.  
Aircraft model 340B  
Aircraft registration VH-ZRK  
Serial number 340B-397  
Operator Regional Express Pty Limited  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Unknown  
Departure point Melbourne Airport  
Destination King Island Airport  
Last update 08 April 2022