Aviation occurrence briefs

Cabin injuries involving Airbus A330-202, Sydney, NSW, on 1 February 2018

Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.

What happened

On 1 February 2018, at about 1631 Eastern Daylight-saving Time (EDT), an Airbus A330-202 was pushing back[1] from the gate for a scheduled departure from Sydney, New South Wales (NSW) to Melbourne, Victoria (Vic.).

During the pushback, the tow was disconnected and an aircraft engineer instructed the flight crew to apply the park brake. The brakes were applied by the flight crew while the aircraft was still moving. The aircraft stopped suddenly and the nose subsequently pitched upwards, resulting in multiple minor injuries and one serious injury to cabin crew who were standing at the time.

Safety message

ATSB report AR-2009-042 Aviation Research and Analysis report. Ground operations occurrences at Australian airports 1998-2008, identified individual actions as the most common contributing factor to ground operations incidents, highlighting the importance of risk controls, such as standard operating procedures and communication between ground and flight crews.

Ground and flight crews need to maintain situational awareness and communication during pushback procedures to ensure the most appropriate actions are taken.

Operators should ensure cabin crew are made aware of the hazardous nature of conducting duties while the aircraft is moving on the ground.

About this report

Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.



  1. Pushback is where an aircraft is pushed backwards away from an airport gate by external power. It involves a tug connected to the nose wheel, or a power unit connected to the main landing gear.
General details
Date: 01 February 2018   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1631 EDT    
Location   (show map): Sydney Airport    
State: New South Wales    
Release Date: 28 March 2018   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus  
Aircraft model A330-202  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Last update 16 August 2018