The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating an aircraft preparation event involving Saab 340B, registration VH-ZLJ, at Cairns Airport, Queensland on 16 November 2022.
During taxi for departure, witnesses noticed a rope extending from the tail/elevator area of the aircraft. The crew was notified, and the aircraft returned to the parking bay.
Subsequent inspections showed that an item used to protect against birds getting into the elevator servo area of the tail when aircraft was parked, had not been removed prior to departure.
As part of the investigation, ATSB investigators will interview the flight crew, other involved persons, review recorded data, operator procedures and collect other relevant evidence.
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.