Friday, April 8, 2016

ATSB Final Report into Collisions with Kangaroos Involving Toll Metro VH-HPE at Thangool Airport and RFDS King Air VH-FDB at Barcaldine Airport

I've noticed recently that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released its final report into a pair of collisions with kangaroos involving Toll Freight Metro 23 VH-HPE at Biloela / Thangool Airport on Tuesday 1 September, along with Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Raytheon B200 King Air VH-FDB at Barcaldine Airport the next day on Wednesday 2 September.

The ATSB found that "The Toll Metro 23 VH-HPE arrived at Thangool Airport just before first light, and shortly after touchdown, the right propeller struck a small kangaroo. The pilot reported there was a lot of vibration throughout the aircraft but no abnormal engine indications. The pilot continued the landing roll, and used ground idle rather than reverse thrust to slow the aircraft."

File photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

"As post flight inspection revealed that one of the propeller blades attached to the right engine was twisted."

The next day, the RFDS King Air VH-FDB was on a medical retrieval flight to Barcaldine Airport. "As the aircraft touched down in the early hours of the morning, at about 0141 EST the aircraft struck a small kangaroo. The pilot reported that engine indications were normal, with no noticeable vibration as they completed the landing roll, and then shut down the left engine and taxied clear."

File photo

"The strike had caused damage to three propeller blades attached to the left engine and disabled the aircraft."

The ATSB also found that at Thangool Airport, a runway inspection had been carried out about twenty minutes prior to VH-HPE landing. No animals were seen during this inspection. The airport at Thangool was not fully fenced for protection from animals.

While at Barcaldine Airport, a 6-ft chain mesh fence with locked gates surrounds the airport. On this occasion a runway inspection had not been requested.

Occurrences involving aircraft striking wildlife are the most common occurrences reported to the ATSB. The ATSB regularly publishes a statistical report on the number and frequency of wildlife strikes to give information back to airline operators, and other aviation industry participants.

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