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 January 2020 at 1650 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, a Beech 58 Baron was conducting a community service flight from Inverell Airport, New South Wales to Maitland Airport, New South Wales, with a pilot and two passengers on board.
The aircraft overflew the airport and joined the circuit for runway 23. The pilot reported that there were no kangaroos observed during the overfly.
While flaring to land, a mob of kangaroos was sighted by the pilot to the left of the runway with one kangaroo subsequently entering the runway and contacting the aircraft’s nose landing gear. The nose gear collapsed, and the aircraft skidded along the runway for approximately 150 metres. While the aircraft continued down the runway, the pilot shut down the engines and selected fuel to off. The aircraft came to a stop and the pilot secured the aircraft before evacuating all occupants via the rear doors.
The pilot and passengers were uninjured and the aircraft sustained damage to the nose landing gear, propellers and lower fuselage.
Figure 1: The aircraft post kangaroo strike
Source: NSW Police, digitally altered by the ATSB to remove the aircraft registration as occurrence briefs are de-identified.
Airservices Australia’s En Route Supplement Australia (ERSA) entry for Maitland specifies that significant animal (kangaroo) hazard exists at this airport.
Kangaroos are among the ground-based animals that are most frequently struck by aircraft, as found in the ATSB report, Australian aviation wildlife strike statistics (AR-2018-035). Due to their size and unpredictable behaviour, they pose a serious safety risk for aircraft. Pilots should mitigate this risk as best they can by maintaining adequate situational awareness, particularly when operating at regional strips known for significant wildlife hazards.
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.