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.
On 14 May 2018, a Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8 Airvan departed Bundaberg, Queensland (Qld) for Hervey Bay, Qld. The pilot was the only occupant.
During cruise at 2,500 feet, the pilot recalled hearing a loud noise from the engine area and immediately after experienced airframe vibration. The pilot observed the engine instruments fluctuating and the engine running rough.
The aircraft lost airspeed and was unable to maintain altitude. The pilot elected to conduct a forced landing on Woodgate beach approximately 40 km SE of Bundaberg. The pilot completed a successful forced landing and was uninjured.
The post-flight inspection revealed the engine crankcase to be cracked adjacent to the number six cylinder. The operator replaced the engine and the aircraft returned to service.
Following a complete engine failure, a forced landing is inevitable. For a partial power loss, pilots are faced with the decision as to whether to continue the flight or land immediately.
- Conduct a thorough pre-flight and engine ground run to reduce the risk of a partial power loss occurring
- Plan their decision making for emergencies and abnormal situations prior to flight. ATSB investigations Engine failure involving Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8, VH-AJZ (AO-2011-125) and Partial engine failure involving a Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8, VH-FGN (AO-2015-123) highlight the importance of having thoroughly rehearsed emergency procedures.
- Constantly monitor engine instruments as they can provide early indication of a problem
- Take positive action and maintain aircraft control when conducting a forced landing until on the ground, while being aware of flare energy and aircraft stall speeds.
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.
|Date:||14 May 2018||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Location:||40 km SE of Bundaberg|
|Release Date:||12 July 2018||Occurrence category:||Serious Incident|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Gippsland Aeronautics Pty Ltd|
|Type of operation||Aerial Work|
|Damage to aircraft||Nil|